Grant Wahl was complaining of a serious illness days before his death after being in “acute distress” during the World Cup game

GRANT Wahl had complained of a serious illness a few days before his death and suffered from “acute distress” during a World Cup game.

The 48-year-old’s death comes weeks after he was arrested in Qatar for wearing a rainbow shirt during World Cup coverage, his brother Eric revealed.

Grant Wahl died while covering a World Cup game


Grant Wahl died while covering a World Cup gamePhoto credit: Sports Illustrated-Getty
Wahl had been arrested in Qatar for wearing a rainbow shirt


Wahl had been arrested in Qatar for wearing a rainbow shirtPhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty

Wahl said in a clip from his podcast Fútbol with Grant Wahl that he had taken time off after playing 17 consecutive days.

“My body, I think, was telling me that even after the US went out, ‘Dude, you’re not getting enough sleep.’

“And it rebelled against me.

“So this week I had a case of bronchitis. I’ve been to the media center medical clinic twice now, including today.

Wife breaks silence after reporter dies suddenly while covering World Cup
Football journalist Grant Wahl died in Qatar at the age of 48 while covering the World Cup

“I’m better today.

“I basically canceled everything I had that Thursday and took a nap.

“And I’m doing a little better, although you can probably tell from my voice that I’m not at 100 percent here. Hopefully I won’t cough during this podcast.”

Earlier in the week, Wahl announced that he had been ill for more than 10 days.

“What had been a cold for the past 10 days turned into something heavier on the night of the USA-Netherlands game and I could feel my upper chest taking on a new level of pressure and discomfort,” he wrote on his website.

WAHL got into “acute distress”

Wahl was at the quarterfinals match between Argentina and the Netherlands, covering his eighth World Cup, when he went into cardiac arrest, which medics called.

Media representatives seated near Wahl said he fell backwards in his seat before medics were called.

His agent Tim Scanlan told the New York Times that Wahl was in the press box in the final minutes of the quarterfinals game when he felt acute distress.

Scanlan said he is believed to have died in a hospital or while being taken there after becoming unwell.

“He wasn’t sleeping well, and I asked him if he had tried melatonin or something like that,” Scanlan said.

“He said, ‘I just need to relax a little.'”

Eric Wahl believed foul play was involved after he claimed his brother had received death threats for wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

“I’m the reason he wore the rainbow jersey to the World Cup,” said Eric, who is gay.

“My brother was healthy. He told me he had received death threats.

“I don’t think my brother just died. I believe he was killed and I’m just asking for your help.”

On November 21, Grant Wahl said he was arrested entering the stadium because of his T-shirt and refused to take it off.

After 30 minutes, Wahl was allowed to cover the game and FIFA later apologized for the incident.


Wahl celebrated his 48th birthday on Wednesday and shared an update on Twitter.

“I celebrated my birthday with a great group of media friends at the World Cup tonight. No games today but very grateful for everyone,” he wrote.

Wahl was involved in both men’s and women’s soccer for nearly three decades before Major League Soccer was formed.

He covered the 1994 World Cup, which took place shortly after he graduated from Princeton, USA.

In 1996 he joined Sports Illustrated and began covering football and college basketball.

He stayed with the release until 2021.

Wahl also worked at Fox Sports from 2012 to 2019.

According to the Associated Press, he was among a group of 82 journalists honored by FIFA and the international sports press association AIPS for having eight or more journalists present at this year’s World Cup.


US Soccer deleted a statement On Wahl’s death: “The entire US football family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl.

“Fans of football and journalism of the highest quality knew that we could always count on Grant to provide insightful and entertaining stories about our game and its key protagonists: teams, players, coaches and the many personalities that make football special .

“Here in the United States, Grant’s passion for football and commitment to raising his profile in our sporting landscape has played an important role in raising interest and respect for our beautiful game.

“Grant’s belief in the power of play to advance human rights has been and continues to be an inspiration to all. Grant has made football his life’s work and we are devastated that he and his brilliant lyrics will no longer be with us.”

Wahl’s wife Céline Gounder wrote on Twitter: “I am so grateful for the support of my husband @GrantWahl’s football family and so many friends who reached out tonight. I’m in total shock.”

“I just can’t believe this is real. I was a colleague of Grant Wahl’s for so many years and he was always so incredibly kind and supportive and fun to chat with in the office. Just a devastating tragedy that is impossible to fathom,” wrote Sports Illustrated colleague Jimmy Traina.

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“I’m at a loss for words… Grant’s choice was more than just that THE Footballer…he was extremely kind and welcoming to everyone in the football world and most importantly – he was brave and when people didn’t have a voice he raised his for them,” wrote Rachel Bonnetta.

“The football community will be devastated and will be missing a huge hole. Love to everyone who read his words and enjoyed his company…I certainly did.” Grant Wahl was complaining of a serious illness days before his death after being in “acute distress” during the World Cup game


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