The U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Friday that renowned soccer journalist Grant Wahl has passed away. Wahl, 48, died while covering the World Cup in Qatar.
When Argentina and the Netherlands’ quarterfinal match went into extra time, Wahl’s agent, Tim Scanlan, claimed that the journalist “looked to have had some form of extreme discomfort in the press room” of the stadium. Scanlan claimed that despite being called to the location, the paramedics were unable to revive the man.
Wahl “received rapid medical treatment on site, which continued when he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital,” according to a statement by Qatari officials. Yet to be determined is the precise cause of death.
As part of his coverage of the ninth World Cup, Wahl had been tweeting during the game.
The U.S. Soccer Federation released a statement Friday night saying, “The whole U.S. soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl.” “Soccer fans and readers of the best journalism knew we could depend on Grant to produce enlightening and interesting reports on our game and its key players.”
On his Spotify podcast on Thursday, Wahl discussed his health and revealed that he had developed bronchitis while covering the World Cup.
Wahl told the audience, “I took some time off here myself. “Without playing any games, we had two days off. After seventeen days of nonstop competition, my body, I believe, revolted against me by telling me I wasn’t getting enough sleep even when the U.S. left the stadium. Thus, I’ve been suffering from bronchitis all week. I’ve already visited the clinic’s medical center twice, including today. Today I am feeling better. I essentially canceled everything I had planned for this Thursday and took a nap, which has helped me feel a little better. My voice undoubtedly lets you know that I’m not giving this place my all.”
While in Qatar, Wahl maintained a “aggressive schedule.”
Scanlan made reference to a conversation that took place on December 3, just a week before Wahl passed away: “I questioned, ‘Was it too much?’ and he responded no, this is what he lived for, and he adored the World Cup,” Scanlan recalled. “He had just received praise for winning the seventh World Cup. Yesterday was his 48th birthday. He was a skilled chef who enjoyed hosting parties. Twenty of his close friends visited him at home last night to celebrate.”
According to U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price, the department was in contact with Qatari authorities.
According to Price’s tweet, “We were profoundly saddened to learn of Grant Wahl’s passing and express our sympathies to his family, with whom we have been in close communication.” To ensure that his family’s wishes are carried out as quickly as possible, “we are interacting with senior Qatari officials.”
Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer, tweeted: “We are devastated by Grant Wahl’s untimely death and are shocked, grieved, and inconsolable. He was a gentle and compassionate man with an unfathomable love for soccer and commitment to journalism.”