American sports journalist Grant Wahl died on Friday after collapsing during a soccer game in Qatar where he was covering the World Cup for CBS sports. While the cause of death currently is unknown, members of Wahl’s family claim that they suspect foul play. The journalist & sports analyst passed away during Friday’s Argentina versus Netherlands match at 48 years old.
Wahl reportedly received death threats after being detained for wearing a Pride shirt at the soccer tournament. Stories of players and attendees being reprimanded for showing support to the LGBTQ+ community have tainted the 2022 FIFA World Cup since it started. On Nov. 21, Wahl tweeted a photo of himself in Qatar wearing a Pride shirt captioned “Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. “You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.”
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’s brother, Eric Wahl released a statement via Instagram expressing his suspicions surrounding the mysterious death, “I am gay, I am the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup. My brother was healthy, he told me he received death threats. I do not believe my brother just died. I believe he was killed, and I just beg for any help.”
FIFA released a statement on Saturday expressing their condolences to Wahl’s friends and family. The journalist received an official recognition by FIFA & AIPS just a couple of days ago for having covered eight consecutive World Cups.
It is still unclear when the body will be returned to the U.S.