US reporter Grant Wahl, who is one of the most famous football journalists in the United States, died while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and Netherlands yesterday (9 December).
He had reportedly collapsed during the extra time of the match, as the other reporters around him hurriedly called for help, according to Bloomberg.
The organizing committee of the world cup said in a statement that Wahl received immediate emergency medical treatment on-site, and he was then conveyed to the Hamad General Hospital by ambulance.
They added that they are also in touch with the US Embassy and the relevant local authorities to ensure the process of repatriating the body is to the wishes of Wahl’s family.
Previously denied entry into Qatar stadium for wearing Pride shirt
On Wahl’s website, he shared that he was previously denied entry into a Qatar stadium to cover the US vs Wales match for wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community.
He was then detained for about 25 minutes as the guards demanded that he remove his shirt.
He tweeted about the incident and a security guard then forcibly ripped his phone from his hands, and he was then told an hour later that his shirt was “political”.
He was also allegedly told to remove his shirt, as Wahl argued that his shirt wasn’t political at all.
Another reporter from the New York Times was also detained after Wahl told him about what happened as the former was walking past.
They were eventually released, and one of the security guards then claimed that they were just trying to “protect” him from the fans inside “who could harm me for wearing the shirt.”
Wahl also added that he received an apology from a FIFA representative.
Just now: Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. “You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.” pic.twitter.com/TvSGThMYq8— Subscribe to GrantWahl.com (@GrantWahl) November 21, 2022
Brother suspects foul play
Wahl’s brother Eric Wahl, posted a video on Instagram on Friday, saying that his brother wore the shirt in support of him because he was gay.
He also said that he believes his brother was killed, and that he had been healthy. He also revealed that his brother had received death threats.
“My name is Eric Wahl. I live in Seattle, Washington. I am Grant Wahl’s brother. I’m gay. I’m the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup. My brother was healthy. He told me he received death threats. I do not believe my brother just died.”
Eric Wahl, the brother of sportswriter Grant Wahl who died in Qatar while covering the World Cup, is asking for help.— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 10, 2022
Grant was detained in Qatar for wearing a rainbow shirt two weeks ago pic.twitter.com/lak0b1UZwa