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Grant Wahl, soccer journalist, dies in Qatar covering World Cup

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Soccer analyst Grant Wahl died in Qatar while covering a World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands on Friday, just days after his 48th birthday.

Wahl’s wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, confirmed his death Friday night on Twitter, writing she was in “complete shock.” Gounder also expressed gratitude for support from the “soccer family & of so many friends who’ve reached out tonight.”

Wahl, a sports journalist for CBS Sports and author of the GrantWahl Substack column, had covered seven men’s World Cup tournaments.

He was seated in the media tribute at Lusail Iconic Stadium for the Argentina-Netherlands match, when he fell ill in his seat during extra time, the Associated Press reported. Wahl could not be revived.

Grant Wahl speaks on a panel discussion at the 2014 Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival New York, presented by Budweiser, on April 8, 2014 in New York City.

Although an official cause of death has not been shared, Wahl wrote that he had been suffering from a “severe” illness that required him to visit a medical clinic in Qatar. 

“My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you,” Wahl wrote Monday on his World Cup Daily newsletter. “What had been a cold over the last 10 days turned into something more severe on the night of the USA-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort. I didn’t have Covid (I test regularly here), but I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a bit better just a few hours later. But still: No bueno.”