US soccer journalist Grant Wahl has died while covering the Qatar World Cup

Wahl was sitting in the press box on the top level of the stadium when he collapsed in stoppage time, prompting reporters around him to move seats and call for medical assistance.

Grand Wahl said he was stopped trying to enter the game between Wales and the US

US journalist Grant Wahl says he was detained in Qatar over the rainbow shirt.

Wahl's wife, Dr Celine Gounder, an infectious disease epidemiologist who served on Joe Biden's coronavirus task force confirmed her husband's death in a statement on Twitter.

“I am so grateful for the support of my husband's football family @GrantWahl & so many friends who have reached out tonight. I was so shocked,” he wrote.

US state department spokesman Ned Price said in a tweet that the United States was "engaging with senior Qatari officials to ensure that his family's wishes are met as quickly as possible". Wahl collapsed during the Argentina-Netherlands match

US soccer journalist Grant Wahl has died after suffering a heart attack at the Lusail Stadium, where he was covering the World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and the Netherlands on Friday night.

Wahl, a CBS Sports correspondent and writer of the popular Substack column, is 48 years old.

"The entire US Soccer family is deeply saddened to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl," the US Soccer Federation said in a statement. “Here in the United States, Grant's passion for soccer and commitment to raising his profile in our sporting landscape played a major role in helping to drive interest in and respect for our beautiful game. Equally important, Grant's belief in the power of the game to advance human rights, is and will remain an inspiration to all."

Wahl made headlines early in the tournament when he was detained by security staff at Qatar's Ahmad bin Ali Stadium for wearing a rainbow shirt in the United States' World Cup opener against Wales. He admitted that he wore the shirt as a form of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.

Wahl wrote on Monday that he had visited a medical clinic in Qatar after feeling unwell.

“My body was finally destroyed. Three weeks of sleep deprivation, high stress, and lots of work can do that for you,” writes Wahl. “What was a cold for the past 10 days turned into something worse on the eve of the US-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest experiencing a new level of pressure and discomfort. I don't have Covid (I get tested regularly here), but I went to the medical clinic at a major media center today, and they said I might have bronchitis. They gave me antibiotics and strong cough syrup, and I was feeling a little better a few hours later. But still: No bueno.

Wahl is perhaps the most famous soccer journalist in the United States. He covered his first World Cup in 1994 and joined Sports Illustrated in 1996. He remained with the magazine for more than two decades, charting the rise of soccer in the US and writing the well-received book about David Beckham's arrival in MLS. He also wrote the magazine's first cover story about LeBron James, while the basketball player was a rising star in high school. Qatar is Wahl's eighth World Cup.

"We are proud to call him a colleague and friend over two decades - no writer in SI history was more passionate about the sport he loves and the stories he wants to tell," Sports Illustrated said in a statement late on Friday. “Our hearts go out to Celine and her family and everyone who loves her job. He will always be part of the SI family.”

Other writers and journalists paid tribute to Wahl as news of his death emerged.

“Grant Wahl is a friend of mine, one of the kindest, kindest people I have ever worked with. I am honored,” tweeted Will Leitch, founding editor of Deadspin.

Brendan Hunt, writer and co-star of Ted Lasso, also paid tribute to Wahl on Twitter.

"Sitting here devastated by the horrific news that Grant Wahl passed away today in Qatar," Hunt wrote. “I have read his work for decades; just two months ago i had the pleasure of meeting him, and he is a complete mensch. This is a tragic and devastating loss."

Wahl is known as the champion of women's soccer. Former USWNT star Carli Lloyd described her death as "absolutely heartbreaking" on Twitter. He added: “Absolutely shocked. My heart goes out to his wife, family, friends and football community.”

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