Grant Wahl, one of the most renowned soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. He was 48 years old.
American reporters sitting near him said Wahl went into lockdown while in the media zone at the Iconic Stadium in Lusail during extra time and could not be revived. Wahl was covering his eighth World Cup.
He wrote on Monday that he had visited a hospital while in Qatar: “My body finally suffered. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and a lot of work can do that for you,” Wahl wrote.
“What had been a cold for the last 10 days turned into something more severe on the night of the game between the United States and the Netherlands, and I could feel the upper part of my chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort. I didn’t have Covid (I’m tested regularly here), but I went to the clinic in the media center today, and they said I probably had bronchitis. They gave me a dose of antibiotics and a powerful cough syrup and I already feel a little better just a few hours later, but, anyway: Not good (he wrote it in Spanish) ”.
The US Soccer Federation released a statement late Friday, saying it was “heartbroken” to learn of Wahl’s death.
Wahl wrote that he had been one of 82 reporters recognized by FIFA and the AIPS International Sports Press Association for attending eight or more World Cups.
A 1996 Princeton University graduate, Wahl worked for Sports Illustrated from 1996 to 2021 and was best known for his coverage of college football and basketball.