US journalist Grant Wahl died after suffering an aortic aneurysm while covering Qatar World Cup
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Grant Wahl /Sipa US / Alamy
Grant Wahl died while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands last weekend, and his family have since confirmed his cause of death.
The US-based football journalist died on Saturday (10 December) at age 48 after collapsing in the press box at Lusail Iconic Stadium during extra time.
US media seated near him said Mr Wahl fell back in his seat, prompting reporters to call for assistance.
“He received immediate emergency medical treatment on site, which continued as he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital,” the World Cup organising committee said in a statement.
“We are in touch with the US embassy and relevant local authorities to ensure the process of repatriating the body is in accordance with the family’s wishes.”
Mr Wahl's wife Dr Celine Gounder has since confirmed that he died after suffering an aortic aneurysm.
In a post to Wahl's blog on Wednesday, Celine wrote: "An autopsy was performed by the New York City Medical Examiner's Office.
"Grant died from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium. The chest pressure he experienced shortly before his death may have represented the initial symptoms.
"No amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him. His death was unrelated to COVID. His death was unrelated to vaccination status. There was nothing nefarious about his death."
The US Soccer Federation said in a statement: “We could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game, and its major protagonists.
“Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all. Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us."
Mr Wahl was honoured with a tribute from FIFA on the desk where he had been due to work at the World Cup quarter-final match between France and England.
The tribute consisted of a posy of white lilies and a framed photograph of Wahl taken in Qatar was left at the media seat that had been assigned to the 48-year-old journalist.
Fifa said in a statement: “Tonight we pay tribute to Grant Wahl at his assigned seat in Al Bayt Stadium. He should have been here.
“Our thoughts remain with his wife Celine, his family, and his friends at this most difficult time."
Mr Wahl wore a rainbow T-shirt in support of LGBTQ rights to the United States’ World Cup opener against Wales on November 21 and wrote that security refused him entry and told him to remove the shirt.
Mr Wahl had previously written about how he was detained for 25 minutes at Ahmed Bin Ali stadium in Al Rayyan, then let go by a security commander.
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