US journalist who wore rainbow shirt to World Cup match reported dead in Qatar

US journalist who wore rainbow shirt to World Cup match reported dead in Qatar

American journalist Grant Wahl, who was detained by security after he wore a rainbow shirt to the United States’ clash with Wales at the FIFA World Cup, has died.

Wahl was at the Lusail Stadium covering Argentina’s dramatic penalty shootout triumph over Netherlands when he collapsed and was given CPR. He was then taken to hospital where he later passed away.

Wahl’s brother Eric announced the 48-year-old had died, also stating he was “healthy” and had received death threats in a video posted to Instagram.

“My name is Eric Wahl, I live in Seattle, Washington. I am Grant Wahl’s brother. I’m gay and the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup,” he said in the video.

“My brother was healthy. He told me he had received death threats. I do not believe my brother just died, and I just beg for any help.”

Wahl’s final report was critical of Qatar’s attitude towards the deaths of migrant workers, writing: “They just don’t care. Qatari World Cup organisers don’t even hide their apathy over migrant worker deaths, including the most recent one,” after a worker passed away as a result of a fatal blow to the head in a forklift accident at the resort the Saudi Arabian squad was based at.

Wahl was working independently at the World Cup, posting articles and match reports on his Substack page. Previously he worked for media organisations Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports as a sports reporter.

“The entire US Soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl,” a statement from US Soccer read.

“Fans of soccer and journalism of the highest quality knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game and its major protagonists: teams, players, coaches and the many personalities that make soccer unlike any other sport.

“U.S. Soccer sends its sincere condolences to Grant’s wife, Dr Celine Grounder, and all of his family members, friends and colleagues in the media, and we thank Grant for his tremendous dedication to and impact on our game in the United States. His writing and the stories he told will live on.”

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