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American soccer journalist Grant Wahl ‘laughing at a joke’ on Twitter minutes before collapse, witness says


American sports activities journalist Grant Wahl, who died surprising whereas overlaying the World Cup in Qatar, was in good spirits and joking with colleagues simply minutes earlier than his sudden loss of life, an eyewitness mentioned.

Wahl, 48, died after he “fell in poor health” on the Lusail Stadium within the remaining minutes of the FIFA World Cup quarterfinal sport between the Netherlands and Argentina Friday, a Qatari spokesperson mentioned.

“I’m in shock. I used to be sitting subsequent to him tonight. He was engaged on his story on his laptop computer, it was about 4 minutes earlier than the top of the additional time,” journalist Rafael Cores mentioned of the tragedy. 

AMERICAN SOCCER JOURNALIST GRANT WAHL DIES WHILE COVERING FIFA WORLD CUP IN QATAR

Cores added, “He was laughing at a joke we noticed on Twitter solely minutes earlier. I can’t imagine it. My deepest condolences to Grant Wahl’s household.”

Wahl obtained “rapid emergency medical remedy on website,” a spokesperson for Qatar’s World Cup planning committee informed Fox Information Digital. 

Wahl’s spouse, Céline Gounder, thanked the worldwide soccer neighborhood for its concern and assist within the aftermath of the journalist’s sudden passing.

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“I’m so grateful for the assist of my husband Grant Wahl’s soccer household and of so many mates who’ve reached out tonight,” Gounder mentioned. “I am in full shock.”

U.S. Soccer launched an announcement saying “your entire U.S. Soccer household is heartbroken.”

“Followers of soccer and journalism of the best high quality know we might at all times depend on Grant to ship insightful and entertaining tales about our sport, and its main protagonists: groups, gamers, coaches and the numerous personalities that make soccer not like any sport,” U.S. Soccer mentioned. “Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we’re devastated that he and his sensible writing will not be with us.”

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Soccer journalist Grant Wahl and his spouse, Dr. Céline Gounder.
(Michael Loccisano/Getty Photos for Budweise)

Wahl’s brother, Eric, introduced his loss of life on Instagram and made an emotional plea for assist. 

“I’m homosexual. I’m the explanation he wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup,” Eric Wahl mentioned. “My brother was wholesome. He informed me he obtained loss of life threats. I don’t imagine my brother simply died. I imagine he was killed, and I am simply begging for any assist.” 

Eric Wahl referenced an incident Grant Wahl confronted two weeks in the past when he tried coming into the stadium for the US-Wales match whereas carrying a rainbow delight shirt and was stopped by safety. 

Soccer player Jozy Altidore (L) and journalist Grant Wahl attend the 2017 St. Luke Foundation for Haiti Benefit hosted by Kenneth Cole at the Garage on Jan. 10, 2017, in New York City.

Soccer participant Jozy Altidore (L) and journalist Grant Wahl attend the 2017 St. Luke Basis for Haiti Profit hosted by Kenneth Cole on the Storage on Jan. 10, 2017, in New York Metropolis.
(Mike Lawrie/Getty Photos)

The Qatari Supreme Committee for Supply & Legacy launched a press assertion acknowledging Wahl’s loss of life.

“We’re deeply saddened by the loss of life of the US journalist Grant Wahl. Grant was identified for his monumental love of soccer and was in Qatar to cowl his eighth FIFA World Cup,” the committee mentioned. “He fell in poor health within the Lusail Stadium media tribune, throughout final night time’s quarter-final match between Argentina v Netherlands.”

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“He obtained rapid emergency medical remedy on website, which continued as he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad Normal Hospital. We provide our deepest condolences to Grant’s household, mates and his many shut colleagues within the media.” 

The committee went on to state they have been cooperating with US officers to return Wahl’s physique to the U.S.

“We’re in contact with the US Embassy and related native authorities to make sure the method of repatriating the physique is in accordance with the household’s needs,” the assertion concluded.

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