Grant Wahl Obituary – Death : soccer journalist, Grant Wahl Dies at age 49

Grant Wahl Obituary – Death : soccer journalist, Grant Wahl Dies at age 49

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Friday that renowned soccer journalist Grant Wahl has passed away. Wahl, 49, died while covering the World Cup in Qatar.

When Argentina and the Netherlands’ quarterfinal match went into extra time, Wahl’s agent, Tim Scanlan, claimed that the journalist “looked to have had some form of extreme discomfort in the press room” of the stadium. Scanlan claimed that despite being called to the location, the paramedics were unable to revive the man.

Wahl “received rapid medical treatment on site, which continued when he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital,” according to a statement by Qatari officials. Yet to be determined is the precise cause of death.

As part of his coverage of the ninth World Cup, Wahl had been tweeting during the game.

Grant Wahl, a soccer journalist, has received tributes following his passing during the World Cup.
The U.S. Soccer Federation released a statement Friday night saying, “The whole U.S. soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl.” “Soccer fans and readers of the best journalism knew we could depend on Grant to produce enlightening and interesting reports on our game and its key players.”

Wahl spoke about his health on his Spotify podcast Thursday, saying that he had contracted bronchitis while covering the World Cup.

“I took some time off here myself,” Wahl told listeners. “We had two days off here without games. Seventeen straight days of games and my body, I think, told me, even when the U.S. went out, ‘Dude, you are not sleeping enough,’ and it rebelled on me. So I’ve had a case of bronchitis this week. I’ve been to the medical center at the clinic twice now, including today. I am feeling better today. I basically cancelled everything on this Thursday that I had, and I napped, and I am doing slightly better. You can probably tell by my voice that I am not doing 100% here.”

Scanlan told CBS News that Wahl had an “aggressive schedule” while in Qatar.

“I asked, ‘Was it too much?’ and he said no, this is what he lived for, and he loved the World Cup,” Scanlan said, referencing a conversation on Dec. 3, about a week before Wahl’s death. “He had just been recognized for his eighth World Cup. He had turned 48 yesterday. He was a noted chef and loved to entertain. Twenty good friends that came to his apartment last night to celebrate.”

A prolific journalist, Wahl wrote for multiple outlets and was a CBS Sports contributor. He was an analyst on CBS Sports HQ throughout the Qatar World Cup, and wrote guest columns focused on the U.S. men’s national team for CBS Sports. He was also an editorial consultant for soccer documentaries on Paramount+.

Wahl was also married to Dr. Celine Gounder, a CBS News medical contributor. Gounder tweeted that she was “in complete shock” and thanked Wahl’s “soccer family” and their friends for their support as the news was reported.

Ned Price, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said that the agency was in communication with officials in Qatar.

“We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Grant Wahl and send our condolences to his family, with whom we have been in close communication,” Price tweeted. “We are engaged with senior Qatari officials to see to it that his family’s wishes are fulfilled as expeditiously as possible.”

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber tweeted: “We are shocked, saddened and heartbroken over the tragic passing of Grant Wahl. He was a kind and caring person whose passion for soccer and dedication to journalism were immeasurable.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story used an incorrect age for Grant Wahl and has been updated to correct his age.

Scanlan revealed to CBS News that while in Qatar, Wahl had a “aggressive schedule.”

Scanlan made reference to a conversation that took place on December 3, just a week before Wahl passed away: “I questioned, ‘Was it too much?’ and he responded no, this is what he lived for, and he adored the World Cup,” Scanlan recalled. “He had just received praise for winning the seventh World Cup. Yesterday was his 48th birthday. He was a skilled chef who enjoyed hosting parties. Twenty of his close friends visited him at home last night to celebrate.”

Wahl was a prolific journalist who contributed to CBS Sports and wrote for several publications. Throughout the Qatar World Cup, he served as an analyst on CBS Sports HQ and contributed guest essays for CBS that centered on the American men’s squad.

Additionally, Dr. Celine Gounder, a medical expert for CBS News, was married to Wahl. While the news was being published, Gounder tweeted that she was “in complete shock” and thanked Wahl’s “soccer family” and their friends for their support.

According to U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price, the department was in contact with Qatari authorities.

According to Price’s tweet, “We were profoundly saddened to learn of Grant Wahl’s passing and express our sympathies to his family, with whom we have been in close communication.” To ensure that his family’s wishes are carried out as quickly as possible, “we are interacting with senior Qatari officials.”

Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer, tweeted: “We are devastated by Grant Wahl’s untimely death and are shocked, grieved, and inconsolable. He was a gentle and compassionate man with an unfathomable love for soccer and commitment to journalism.”

Note from the editor: An earlier version of this story gave Grant Wahl’s age incorrectly; it has since been changed.

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