Qatar – Prominent American soccer journalist Grant Wahl died suddenly in Qatar while covering Friday’s World Cup game between the Netherlands and Argentina. Wahl, who grew up in Mission, Kansas, was perhaps the most well-known soccer writer in the United States. Wahl was born in 1974 in Mission, Kansas, and was a fan of the Kansas City Comets, a local indoor soccer team] He attended Shawnee Mission East High School. He was an Eagle Scout. He went on to study at Princeton University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Politics in 1996.[
Wahl also had a presence on television, working for Fox Sports and CBS Sports and had his own Substack newsletter, GrantWahl.com. He also was the author of the 2009 New York Times bestseller “The Beckham Experiment,” that chronicled the impact of David Beckham’s move to the MLS’ LA Galaxy.
He celebrated his 48th birthday on Wednesday, tweeting while there were no games he was happy to be with friends and colleagues.
If you are a fan of soccer, you know Grant Wahl. If you aren’t, you may still have heard of his award-winning journalism.
He spent 24 years with Sports Illustrated, joining the magazine after he graduated from Princeton in 1996, where he wrote about soccer and college basketball, most prominently. But his career at SI ended in 2020 after he was fired by the magazine’s publisher, Maven, after a pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. media seated near him said Wahl fell back in his seat in a section of Lusail Iconic Stadium reserved for journalists during extra time of the game between Argentina and the Netherlands, and reporters adjacent to him called for assistance. Emergency services workers responded very quickly, the reporters said, and the reporters later were told that Wahl had died.
“He received immediate emergency medical treatment on site, which continued as he was transferred by ambulance Hamad General Hospital,” the World Cup organizing committee said in a statement, which did not list a cause of death. “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.”
Wahl had written that he had not being feeling well in the days preceding his death, saying in part: “I could feel my upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort.” He sought medical attention, for what he was told was probably bronchitis and received antibiotics.
Wahl is survived by his wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, whom he met at Princeton University .The couple married in 2001.
Gounder is an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at New York University. She served on the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.
A memorial to Wahl has been placed at World Cup game. Wahl has been honored with a tribute from FIFA on the desk where he was due to work at the World Cup quarterfinal match between France and England