Journalist Denied Entry Into World Cup For Rainbow Shirt Dies Suddenly During Match

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Soccer journalist Grant Wahl died suddenly during the Argentina-Netherlands World Cup match on Friday in Doha, Qatar, according to multiple reports.

The news was confirmed by NPR, who said that he died while covering the quarterfinal match.

U.S. Soccer also issued a statement on his passing, expressing their condolences to his family. Wahl’s wife, Dr. Céline Gounder, responded to the statement and thanked everyone for their support.

Wahl made headlines earlier in the tournament when trying to enter a World Cup stadium wearing a rainbow t-shirt.

According to his Twitter, security guards refused to let him in to the USA-Wales match without changing shirts.

He later said he was detained for half an hour but eventually allowed into the media center.

Grant Wahl who covered World CUp
Grant Wahl covering USMNT and the Men’s National Team of Ecuador playing in an international friendly at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT in 2014. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Wahl has also been a repeated, vocal critic of Qatar’s handling of the World Cup.

He recently posted an article excoriating World Cup organizers for not caring about migrant worker deaths.

His brother posted a video on Instagram saying that his brother was “healthy” and implied foul play. That post has since been deleted. No evidence has emerged as of late Friday evening that there was anything suspicious about Wahl’s death.

His brother also posted a string of tweets.

Wahl Had Health Problems at World Cup

On the most recent episode of his podcast, Wahl described not feeling well and seeking medical attention in Qatar.

I took some time off myself. We had two days here without games after 17 straight days of games. My body, I think told me, even after the US went out ‘dude, you are not sleeping enough.’ And, it rebelled on me. I’ve had a case of bronchitis this week. I’ve been to the medical clinic at the media center twice now, including today. I’m feeling better today. I basically cancelled everything on this Thursday that I had and napped. And I’m doing slightly better. Though, you can probably tell in my voice that I’m not at 100%. Hopefully, I will not cough during this podcast. I’m coughing a lot. Everyone is coughing here. This is by no means limited to me. So many journalists have gotten a crazy cough that sounds like a death rattle sometimes.

Grant Wahl on his podcast, Fútbol with Grant Wahl

His last tweet was about the insane Argentina-Netherlands match earlier in the day.

Wahl was 48 years old.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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