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American Sports Journalist Grant Wahl Dies Suddenly In Qatar

(Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
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American soccer journalist Grant Wahl has died suddenly in Qatar while covering the 2022 World Cup, according to multiple reports.

Wahl, a longtime soccer reporter who wrote on Substack, as well as for Fox Sports and CBS, was seen collapsing inside Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar, during Friday’s quarterfinal match between the Netherlands and Argentina. Paramedics arrived quickly and performed CPR on Wahl before taking him away on a stretcher. His wife and brother later confirmed he died, according to NPR.

Wahl, 48, grabbed headlines in the early days of the tournament when he showed up to a match wearing a t-shirt expressing support for LGBT rights, according to NPR. He was not allowed to enter and was detained by Qatari authorities before later being released. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and there have been reports of “abuse” and “ill-treatment” against LGBT individuals in the country, according to Human Rights Watch.

The night before the quarterfinal match at which Wahl passed away, he posted his daily report from the event, which was critical of Qatari officials’ apathy toward migrant workers who had died building the stadiums used for the World Cup.

Eric Wahl, Grant’s brother, released a video on Instagram stating that the journalist was in good health and that he believes there was foul play involved in his death, according to TMZ. Eric tearfully explained that he himself is gay and is the reason his brother wore the pro-LGBT shirt for which he was detained. (RELATED: Qatar Reverses Course, Bans Alcohol Sales From Stadiums 2 Days Before World Cup Begins)

Tributes poured in for Wahl from across the soccer world late Friday evening. Neither U.S. nor Qatari officials have released any details or information about the incident thus far.