Tributes pour in following sudden death of American Journalist -FIFA World Cup

Grant Wahl, a well-known American journalist, is away in Qatar after collapsing while covering the World Cup, sending shockwaves across the sports community.

On Friday, Wahl suffered a fatal collapse at the International Press Center in Doha while watching Argentina take on the Netherlands in a quarterfinal match. While covering the Argentina vs. Netherlands game on Friday, he “collapsed” in the press room, a witness informed CNN.

His death was not under obvious circumstances.

US Soccer released a statement on its official Twitter account, saying, “The entire US Soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl,”

“Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.”

US Soccer expressed their sympathies to Wahl’s wife, Celine Gounder, and other family members while praising Wahl’s drive and “belief in the power of the game to improve human rights.”

Grant’s death shocked many in the soccer community, who counted him among their friends and colleagues. His loss will be felt throughout the industry, especially by those closest to him, including his wife and two young daughters.

Gounder retweeted the US Soccer tweet and added: “I am so thankful for the support of my husband Grant Wahl’s soccer family and of so many friends who’ve reaches out tonight. I’m in complete shock.”

Grant, a longtime Sports Illustrated soccer reporter and author, had a distinctive viewpoint on the game he covered with enthusiasm and knowledge. He was known for his in-depth investigative pieces and lively storytelling, making him one of the most respected voices in sports journalism.

Grant Wahl, an accomplished American journalist who covered soccer for over two decades, died after collapsing at the Qatar FIFA World Cup. He was just 48 years old.

Wahl has been based in Munich, Germany, since 1998 and has covered 11 World Cups during his career — most recently this year’s tournament in Russia as a correspondent for Sports Illustrated. The Beckham Experiment and Masters of Modern Soccer are two books he also wrote about soccer.

Before passing away on December 6, he recently admitted to feeling under the weather on an episode of the podcast Futbol with Grant Wahl released just days earlier. Co-host Chris Wittyngham overheard Wahl say in the show, “It had gotten pretty bad in terms of like the tightness in my chest, tightness, pressure. Feeling pretty hairy, bad.”

He continued, saying that he went to the medical clinic at the World Cup media center because he thought he had bronchitis. He received ibuprofen and cough medicine and claimed that he soon felt better.

Tributes pour in:

When renowned American journalist Grant Wahl suddenly collapsed and died at the Qatar 2022 World Cup on Friday, it sent shockwaves through the soccer journalism community. Many took to social media to pay tribute to a highly respected and well-loved man within that tight-knit group. Many shared personal stories of working alongside him or encountering him at various World Cups.

“We are shocked, saddened and heartbroken over the tragic passing of Grant Wahl,” Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer, stated that Wahl was “a kind and caring person.”

The National Women’s Soccer League also tweeted its condolences, saying Wahl’s “commitment to sharing the stories of our beautiful game was unmatched, but more importantly, his integrity, thoughtfulness and kindness were central to the way he lived.”

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Libby Austin

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