American football journalist Grant Wall dies in Qatar at 48

LUSELL, Qatar — Grant Wahl, one of America’s best-known football writers, died early Saturday while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. He is 48 years old.

American media, who sat near him, said that during overtime, Val fell on his seat in the press box at Lusail’s iconic stadium, and the reporter next to him called for help. Emergency services responded quickly and were later told Val had died, reporters said.

“He received immediate emergency treatment at the scene and continued treatment after he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital,” the World Cup organizing committee said in a statement, without listing a cause of death. “We are in contact with the US Embassy and relevant local authorities to ensure that the process of repatriating the remains complies with the wishes of the bereaved family.”

Val is covering his eighth World Cup. He wrote on his website on Monday that he had visited a clinic in Qatar.

“My body is finally breaking down. Three weeks of sleep deprivation, stress and a lot of work can take a toll on you,” Val wrote. “The cold of the last 10 days has gotten worse on me. The night of the US vs. Netherlands game, I could feel the new pressure and discomfort in my upper chest.

“I’m not infected with coronavirus (I’m tested regularly here), but I went to the medical clinic in the main media center today and they said I might have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and some strong cough syrup, I’m already feeling better after a few hours. But still: no Bueno.”

On Thursday’s podcast, Val said he had bronchitis and went to the clinic again.

“I basically canceled everything this Thursday, took a nap, I’m doing slightly better, and you can tell by the sound of my voice that I’m not 100% here,” he said. “Hopefully I don’t cough on this podcast. I cough a lot. Everyone coughs on here, it’s by no means limited to me, like a lot of journalists cough badly. Sometimes it sounds like a dying rattle.

“The only thing that surprises me is that there’s not that much COVID here. I think that could be a real problem. We’re not really seeing COVID cases. We’re just seeing a lot of common illnesses, coughs, colds, I can’t wait Want to be on the other side of what I have. But I’m ready. I’ll be there on Friday.”

During the World Cup, Wahl gained international attention after he said he was briefly barred from the US’s Nov. 11 match against Wales. The 21-year-old wore a rainbow T-shirt in support of those who identify as LGBTQIA+ as their rights are criminalized in conservative Muslim country Qatar.

Wahl wrote that he was detained for 25 minutes at the Ahmed Bin Ali stadium in Al Rayyan before being released by a security commander. Val said FIFA apologized to him.

Wahl, a 1996 Princeton graduate, worked at Sports Illustrated from 1996 to 2021 and is known primarily for his coverage of football and college basketball. He then launched his own website. Val also worked for Fox Sports from 2012 to 2019.

His wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, is an associate clinical professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine, an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital Center, and a medical news writer for CBS News.

Goode Tweeted Friday night She was “completely shocked” and thanked everyone for their support of her husband.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a tweet that the U.S. is “engaging with senior Qatari officials to ensure that his family’s last wishes are met as expeditiously as possible.”

Sports Illustrated, through co-editors Ryan Hunter and Stephen Cannella, issued a statement saying they were “shocked and saddened by the news of Grant’s passing.”

“We are proud to call him a colleague and friend for two decades — no writer in the history of SI has been more passionate about the sport he loves and the story he wants to tell,” the statement read. “Our hearts go out to Celine and his family and everyone who loves his work. He will always be part of the SI family.”

One of Wall’s credits for Sports Illustrated was the famous 2002 cover story “The Chosen One” about LeBron James, who was a junior at Saint Louis University. Vincent St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio.

“He was always cool. He spent a lot of time in my hometown of Akron,” James said in Philadelphia after the Los Angeles Lakers’ overtime loss to the Sixers. “As soon as his name comes up, I think back to when I was a teenager and Grant was in our building in St. Louis. Ask. This is a tragic loss. It is unfortunate to lose someone as great as him. All the best with his family. May he rest in peace in heaven.

american football too issue a statement They said they were “heartbroken” to learn of Val’s death on Friday night.

A voter for FIFA’s annual awards, Val, who has participated in eight or more World Cups, is one of 82 journalists honored by FIFA and the international sports press association AIPS.

“Just a few days ago, Grant was recognized by FIFA and AIPS for his contributions to coverage of eight consecutive FIFA World Cups, a career that also includes participation in multiple FIFA Women’s World Cups and a host of other international sporting events,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said. “His love of football was enormous and his coverage will be missed by all who followed the global game.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source link