Leading American sports reporter Grant Wahl, who last month had a run-in with Qatar's World Cup organisers over a rainbow LGBTQ shirt is dead. He passed on while covering the tense quarter-final match between Argentina and Netherlands, Friday.
A Qatar organising committee spokesperson said Wahl "received immediate emergency medical treatment on site, which continued as he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital."
"We offer our deepest condolences to Grant's family, friends and his many close colleagues in the media," the statement added.
Who was Grant Wahl?
Wahl, 48, worked as a sports journalist as far back as his college days, when he covered the Princeton men’s soccer team. He also met his wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, whom he married in 2001.
Wahl covered the World Cup in 1994, leading to an internship with the Miami Herald in 1996 and then Sports Illustrated later that year, where he remained for the following two decades. His beat covered men’s soccer in the U.S. as the sport gained more popularity.
He covered college basketball and soccer, which included reporting on eight World Cups over his career. He wrote over three dozen cover stories for Sports Illustrated, according to the publication’s website.
Wahl also wrote a piece about high-school basketball phenom LeBron James, "The Chosen One," saying that James "would be an NBA lottery pick right now." Sports Illustrated credited Wahl with helping to "define" the publication.
Journey Well, Grant
A bouquet of white flowers were placed on what would have been Wahl's press seat at Al Bayt Stadium for Saturday's quarter-final between France and England. A tribute to the reporter was shown on a giant screen at the stadium.