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Sports journalist Grant Wahl dies in Qatar amid World Cup coverage

(NATIONAL) – U.S. sports journalist Grant Wahl, 48, has died in Qatar while covering the FIFA World Cup, according to U.S. Soccer.

The sporting organization said in a statement late on Friday, “Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us. U.S. Soccer sends its sincerest condolences to Grant’s wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, 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.”

It is unknown how Wahl  died.

Wahl did report of feeling sick days before, and told ESPN  “I didn’t have Covid (I test regularly here), but I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a bit better just a few hours later. But still: No bueno.”

Wahl made headlines recently after reporting that he was detained and refused entry to a World Cup match, briefly, because he was wearing a shirt with rainbow colors on it in support of LGBT rights.

He reported that security staff told him to change his clothing because those colors were not allowed. He said security staff took his phone.

Wahl said he was released after 25 minutes, and FIFA representatives reportedly apologized to him.