american journalist grant wahl dies qatar

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According to his brother, Eric Wahl, American soccer journalist Grant Wahl died Friday while covering the World Cup in Qatar. He was 48 years old.

His brother announced Wahl’s death via a video posted on his Instagram account. 

Wahl was a staunch human rights defender and highly critical of Qatar. Last month, security temporarily denied Wahl entry into a World Cup stadium for wearing a pro-LGBTQ T-shirt featuring a soccer ball surrounded by rainbow colors. Also, on Thursday, Wahl published a story to his Substack highlighting World Cup organizers’ apathy over the deaths of migrant workers. 

“I’m gay. I’m the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup,” Wahl’s brother said. “My brother was healthy. He told me he received death threats. I do not believe my brother just died. I believe he was killed. And I just beg for any help.” 

The New York Post reported that following the World Cup quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands at Lusail Iconic Stadium, Wahl collapsed before being taken to a nearby hospital. It’s unclear whether he died in transit or at the hospital. 

A cause of death has yet to be released. But Wahl said Thursday on his podcast that he had been battling a case of bronchitis. Attributing it to a lack of sleep, Wahl said he was feeling better and added that “so many journalists” were under the weather. 

A statement from U.S. Soccer lauded Wahl for his “tremendous dedication” and “impact” on soccer in the United States.  

“Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will always remain, an inspiration to all,” the statement read. “Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.” 

Wahl’s wife also thanked those who reached out with support and condolences. 

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