By Our Reporter,
U.S. Soccer confirmed the death of prominent soccer writer Grant Wahl on Friday night. Wahl, who for years chronicled the rise of the game for Sports Illustrated before moving to Substack, was covering the World Cup in Qatar.
Wahl attended the quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands in Lusail on Friday. He collapsed in his seat at the start of extra time before paramedics treated him for several minutes, said Washington Post reporter Steven Goff, who also was covering the match.
“The entire U.S. Soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl,” U.S. Socer wrote in a statement. “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 sport.”
Wahl was detained earlier during the tournament by Qatari security guards at a stadium when he arrived to a game wearing a rainbow soccer ball T-shirt. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. Wahl, on his Substack, wrote that security guards refused to let him in, detained him for 25 minutes and demanded he remove his shirt.
In its statement, U.S. Soccer added: “Grant’s passion for soccer and commitment to elevating its profile across our sporting landscape played a major role in helping to drive interest in and respect for our beautiful game. As important, Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all.”
Wahl joined Sports Illustrated in 1996 and worked at the magazine until 2020. Over the course of more than two decades, he made a name for himself as one of the leading soccer writers in the country. He covered men’s and women’s World Cups, European soccer and the growth of the sport in the United States.
Wahl tweeted commentary throughout Argentina’s victory. His final tweet came at the end of the second half after the Netherlands tied the game. “Just an incredible designed set-piece goal by the Netherlands,” Wahl wrote
Source: Washington Post