Grant Wahl Dies: CBS Soccer Analyst, 48, Had Been Detained For Wearing Rainbow Shirt While In Qatar Covering World Cup

longtime football reporter Grant carrier died today while covering world Cup in Qatar. Details surrounding Wahl’s death remain unclear, but NPR reports that he collapsed after leaving the stadium shortly before the end of the Netherlands-Argentina match today.

Wahl wrote for Sports Illustrated before starting his substack. He regularly appears on CNN, Fox Sports and CBS game as a commentator.

His wife Celine Gounder wrote on Twitter:

“I’m so grateful for my husband’s support @GrantWahlK’s football family and so many friends who have reached out tonight. I am in complete shock.”

His statement was linked to a retweet of a US Soccer Federation statement posted on social media, which read: “The entire US Soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl. A fan of soccer and journalism of the highest quality knew we could always count on Grant to provide informative and entertaining stories about our sport, and its major protagonists: the teams, players, coaches and many personalities that make soccer unlike any other sport.

Wahl was covering the epic match between Argentina and the Netherlands today when the match ended,” an NPR reporter saw Uproar in the press tribune at Lusail Stadium. Reporters scattered as Wahl fell. Paramedics responded to the seating area where he was and performed CPR. After several minutes, they carried him onto a stretcher, using an automatic chest compressor to administer CPR.

While in Qatar, Wahl was not shy about expressing himself. On 21 November, he wrote that he was refused entry to the stadium for the USA-Wales match because he was wearing a rainbow shirt.

“You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed,” the security guard reportedly told him. He eventually made it to the media center, but called the incident “an unnecessary process”.

Yesterday, Wahl published an edgy piece criticizing the Qatari authorities for their lack of concern for human rights, and specifically about expatriate deaths in the country.

Reporting on the death of a Filipino worker at a Saudi Arabian training resort during the group stage of the tournament, Wahl wrote:

We know the Qatari Supreme Committee doesn’t care because its CEO, Nasser al-Khater, told you everything you needed to hear in an interview with the BBC that was breathtaking in its absurdity.

“We’re in the middle of a World Cup, and we’ve had a successful World Cup. And that’s something you want to talk about now?” Al-Khater said when asked about the worker’s death. “I mean, death is a natural part of life, whether it is at work, whether it is in your sleep. Of course, a laborer died. Our thoughts are with his family. However, it is strange that this Something you wanted to focus on as your first question.”

US Soccer specifically acknowledges in its statement that “Grant’s belief in the power of sport to advance human rights was, and will continue to be, an inspiration to all.”