Brother of Grant Wahl claims foul play after death at Qatar World Cup
Grant Wahl, an acclaimed U.S. soccer writer who was heavily critical of Qatar’s human rights record covering the FIFA World Cup, died early Saturday while covering the Argentina vs. Netherlands match. His brother, a Seattle resident, is claiming his death was foul play.
Wahl, 48, reportedly fell back in his seat in the media tribute at Lusail Iconic Stadium during extra time of the match, according to The Associated Press. Emergency workers responded quickly, but it was later revealed that Wahl had passed.
Before the United States Men’s National Team’s first match against Wales on Nov. 21, Wahl was detained outside the stadium for wearing a rainbow-themed t-shirt in support of LGBTQ rights. Same-sex relations are criminalized in Qatar, a conservative Muslim nation.
Just now: Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. “You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.” pic.twitter.com/TvSGThMYq8
— Subscribe to GrantWahl.com (@GrantWahl) November 21, 2022
Wahl also wrote about the country’s significant human rights issues, as hundreds of migrant workers reportedly lost their lives building infrastructure for the World Cup.
In an Instagram post, Wahl’s brother said that the death wasn’t a coincidence.
“My brother was healthy. He told me he received death threats,” said Eric Wahl. “I do not believe my brother just died. I believe he was killed, and I just beg for any help.”
Eric Wahl, the brother of sportswriter Grant Wahl who died in Qatar while covering the World Cup, is asking for help.
Grant was detained in Qatar for wearing a rainbow shirt two weeks ago pic.twitter.com/lak0b1UZwa
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 10, 2022
Wahl was covering his eighth World Cup. He wrote on his website Monday that he had visited a medical clinic while in Qatar.
“My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress, and lots of work can do that to you,” Wahl wrote. “What had been a cold over the last 10 days turned into something more severe on the night of the USA-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort.”
Wahl wrote that he tested negative for COVID-19 and sought treatment for his symptoms.
“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,” he wrote.
The Seattle Sounders FC and U.S. Soccer released statements on Twitter Friday night regarding the loss of Wahl.
Club statement on the tragic passing of Grant Wahl pic.twitter.com/HUCTf4xChV
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) December 10, 2022
U.S. Soccer Statement On The Passing Of Grant Wahl: pic.twitter.com/CBp1mCK1mQ
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) December 10, 2022
The Associated Press contributed to this report