Wahl was considered one of the most renowned football reporters in the United States. He had caused a stir in Doha because he was briefly detained by security personnel during the World Cup because of a rainbow T-shirt. His death caused shock, especially in the football world.
Wahl was present for CBS Sports in the thrilling game that Argentina won on penalties. According to a report by US radio station NPR, he collapsed in the press box at Lusail Stadium shortly before the end of the match.
Paramedics provided first aid and took him to the hospital, said a spokesman for the Qatar World Cup organizing committee. According to The Wall Street Journal newspaper, Wahl suffered a heart attack.
"Grant has made football his life's work and we are devastated that he and his brilliant pen are no longer with us," the Football Association said. "The entire football family in the United States is heartbroken." His widow, Celine Gounder, said she was "in complete shock."
Fifa President Gianni Infantino expressed his condolences to Wahl's widow and his family on behalf of the association and the "football community". US State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted: "We are deeply saddened by the death of Grant Wahl." The US authorities are in close contact with his family and government officials in Qatar in order to be able to "fulfill the family's wishes as soon as possible".
Wahl has covered football since 1994; from 1996 for the then leading US sports magazine "Sports Illustrated" and since 2021 for CBS Sports. He maintained his own newsletter, which he also regularly populated during the World Cup. There he wrote earlier in the week that he had gone to a clinic because he was not feeling well. "They said I probably had bronchitis."
"My body finally let me down. Three weeks of little sleep, lots of stress and lots of work can do that to you," he wrote. He had developed an uncomfortable pressure in the upper chest. With the help of antibiotics and "a strong cough syrup" he felt a little better a few hours later. "But still: No bueno."
To show his support for the LGBTQ movement, the US sports reporter wore a rainbow t-shirt to the USA vs Wales game on November 21. He was briefly detained by security personnel. The English abbreviation LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.