An American sports journalist has died while covering the World Cup in Qatar, his family and US Soccer have announced.
Grant Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated reporter who later moved to Substack, died while covering the match between Argentina and the Netherlands, according to NPR.
American reporters seated next to him said he fell back into his seat during extra time, in a part of the stadium reserved for journalists.
They had called for help and, while the emergency services responded very quickly, they were later told that Mr Wahl – believed to be 49 – had died.
No further details have been released of his death.
His wife, Dr Celine Gounder, thanked those who had “reached out to him tonight”, but added on Twitter: “I am completely in shock”.
Mr Wahl said last month he was briefly detained when he tried to enter a World Cup stadium in Qatar while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community .
Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar.
Detained for wearing a rainbow shirt
He said on Twitter that he was detained for 25 minutes for wearing the shirt, with security guards “forcibly” taking his phone and demanding he remove the shirt before entering the stadium.
He said he refused.
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Mr Wahl also wrote on Monday that he had visited a hospital in Qatar, saying: “My body finally collapsed on me – three weeks of little sleep, high stress and a lot of work can make you that.
“What had been a cold for the past 10 days turned into something more serious on the night of the USA-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest taking on a new level of pressure and dizziness. ‘discomfort.
“I didn’t have COVID (I test regularly here), but I went to the main media center medical clinic today, and they said I probably had bronchitis.
“They gave me a course of antibiotics and cough syrup, and I already feel a little better a few hours later. But still: No bueno.”
US ‘engages with senior Qatari officials’
US State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted on Friday evening: “We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Grant Wahl and extend our condolences to his family, with whom we have been in close communication.
“We are in contact with senior Qatari officials to ensure that his family’s wishes are granted as quickly as possible.”
US Soccer said: “The entire American football family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl.
“Fans of the highest quality football and journalism knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game and its main protagonists: teams, players, coaches and the many personalities who make football a different sport.
“Here in the United States, Grant’s passion for the game of football and his commitment to raising his profile in our sporting landscape has played a major role in helping to generate interest and respect for our beautiful game.
“Equally important, Grant’s belief in the power of play to advance human rights has been and will remain an inspiration to all.
“Grant has made football his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing are no longer with us.”