The sports world is paying tribute to prominent soccer journalist Grant Wahl, following the news of his death in Qatar where he was covering the men’s World Cup.
Wahl, 48, collapsed at Lusail Stadium in the waning minutes of Friday’s Argentina–Netherlands quarterfinal, according to other reporters who were covering the match. Paramedics attended to Wahl and performed CPR, NPR reported. He was then transported to Hamad General Hospital in Doha, the Qatari government said.
Wahl’s death was confirmed on social media by his wife Céline Gounder, an infectious disease doctor, his brother Eric Wahl, and the US Soccer Federation.
“I am so thankful for the support of my husband @GrantWahl’s soccer family & of so many friends who’ve reached out tonight,” Gounder tweeted. “I’m in complete shock.”
In an emotional Instagram video, Eric Wahl said he suspected foul play, noting that his brother had received death threats after being briefly detained ahead of the USA–Wales group match on Nov. 21 for wearing a shirt in support of the LGBTQ community. Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar.
“My brother was healthy,” Eric Wahl said. “I do not believe my brother just died. I believe he was killed.”