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Renowned football journalist Grant Wahl dies at 49 at Qatar World Cup

The US Soccer Federation reported on Friday that renowned football journalist Grant Wahl has passed away. Wahl, 49, was in Qatar covering the World Cup when he passed away.

Wahl’s agent, Tim Scanlan, said that it appeared the journalist “had some sort of acute discomfort in the press room” of the stadium. quarter final match between Argentina and the Netherlands, when both teams went into extra time. Paramedics were called to the scene, Scanlan said, but they were unable to revive him.

Qatari authorities said in a statement that Wahl “received immediate medical treatment on site, which continued as he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital.” The exact cause of death is not yet known.

was carried Tweet during the match, which was part of the eighth World Cup he covered.

The US Soccer Federation said, “The entire US Soccer family is saddened to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl.” said in a statement Friday night. “Fans of football and journalism of the highest quality knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our sport and its key characters.”

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

Michael Locisano/Getty Images


Wahl spoke about his health on his Spotify podcast on Thursday, saying he had contracted bronchitis while covering the World Cup.

“I took some time out here myself,” Wahl told the audience. “We had two days off without a game here. Seventeen straight days of a game and I think, my body told me, even when America went out, ‘Man, you’re not getting enough sleep,’ And it revolted me. So I’ve had a case of bronchitis this week. I’ve been to the medical center twice including today at the clinic. I feel better today. I basically canceled everything this Thursday Was, and I took a nap, and I’m doing a little better. You can probably tell from my voice that I’m not doing 100% here.”

Scanlan told CBS News that Wahl had an “aggressive schedule” while in Qatar.

“I asked, ‘Was it too much?’ And he said no, that’s what he lived for, and he loved the World Cup,” Scanlan said, referring to a conversation on December 3, about a week before Wahl’s death. “He was recognized for his eighth World Cup. He turned 48 yesterday. He was a renowned chef and loved to entertain. Twenty good friends who came over to his apartment last night to celebrate.”

A prolific journalist, Wahl wrote for several outlets and was a CBS Sports contributor. He was an analyst on CBS Sports Headquarters during the Qatar World Cup, and wrote guest columns for CBS Sports focused on the US men’s national team. He was also an editorial consultant for soccer documentaries on Paramount+.

Wahl was also married to CBS News medical contributor Dr. Celine Gounder. go under Tweeted that she was “in complete shock” and thanked Wahl’s “soccer family” and their friends for their support, as reported in the news.

Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, said the agency was in contact with officials in Qatar.

“We were deeply saddened to learn of Grant Wahl’s death and send our condolences to his family, with whom we remain in close contact,” Price Tweeted, “We are engaged with senior Qatari officials to see that his family’s wishes are met as expeditiously as possible.”

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber Tweeted: “We are shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the tragic passing of Grant Wahl. He was a kind and caring man whose passion for football and dedication to journalism was immeasurable.”

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story used the incorrect age for Grant Wahl and has been updated to correct his age.

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