While covering an Argentina-Netherlands World Cup game, American writer Grant Wahl, who contributed to the growth of soccer in the U.S. and covered some of the sport’s major storylines, passes away.
Grant Wahl, an American journalist who covered some of the biggest stories in soccer and contributed to the sport’s growth in the U.S., passed away on Saturday while covering an Argentina vs. Netherlands World Cup game. He was 48.
During extra time of the game, Wahl slumped in his seat in a section of Lusail Stadium designated for media, and reporters next to him asked for help.
“Emergency personnel arrived very quickly, treated him on the scene for 20 to 30 minutes, and then carried him away on a stretcher” told by Ishan Tharoor, a sports affairs columnist at the Washington Post.
“Grant had a strong moral compass about the place of sports and how sport… can help set norms for people,” Tharoor added.
After the United States hosted the 1994 World Cup, there was a surge in interest in football, and Wahl, who wrote for Sports Illustrated for more than 20 years before launching his own website, was a key voice in educating the American people about the sport. He also provided the world sport’s governing authorities with a critical eye.
In 2011, Wahl ran against Sepp Blatter and Mohamed bin Hammam for the position of FIFA president. He claimed to have contacted 150 nations to secure support for a candidacy, and he vowed to make FIFA more transparent.
Wahl was among 82 journalists recognized last week by FIFA and the international sports press organization AIPS for attending eight or more World Cups. Wahl occasionally voted in FIFA’s yearly awards.
Wahl, who received his degree from Princeton in 1996, covered college basketball and soccer for Sports Illustrated from 1996 to 2021. A podcast with Meadowlark Media and his own website, Football with Grant Wahl, were later started by him.
Wahl also served as an analyst and editorial consultant for Fox Sports from 2012 to 2019, and in 2021, he was employed by CBS Sports. After English soccer icon David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, Wahl penned the books “The Beckham Experiment” in 2009 and “Masters of Modern Soccer” in 2018.
Grant Wahl, was honoured with a memorial from FIFA on the desk where he was scheduled to work on December 10 at the France vs. England World Cup quarterfinal game.
In the early hours of December 10, a 48-year-old journalist named Wahl passed away at the World Cup. A posy of white flowers and a framed portrait of Wahl taken in Qatar were left at the media seat that had been designated for him.