The well-known football journalist Grant Wahl has died, reports the American Football Association on Friday. Wahl, 49, was in Qatar covering the World Cup when he died.
Wahl’s agent, Tim Scanlan, said the journalist appeared to have suffered “some sort of acute distress in the press room” of the stadium during thebetween Argentina and the Netherlands, as the two teams began playing in extra time. Paramedics were called to the scene, Scanlan said, but were unable to revive him.
Qatari officials said in a statement that Wahl received “immediate medical treatment at the scene, which continued while he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital.” The exact cause of death is not yet known.
Wahl had been tweet during the match, which was part of the eighth World Cup he had completed.
“The entire American football family is heartbroken to hear that we have lost Grant Wahl,” the U.S. Soccer Federation said. said in a statement Friday night. “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 key protagonists.”
Wahl spoke about his health on his Spotify podcast on Thursday, saying he contracted bronchitis while covering the World Cup.
“I took some time off here myself,” Wahl told listeners. “We had two days off here with no games. Seventeen consecutive days of games and my body, I think, was telling me, even as the US went out, ‘Dude, you’re not sleeping enough,’ and it rebelled against me. So I” I had a case of bronchitis this week. I’ve been to the clinic’s medical center twice now, including today. I feel better today. I actually canceled everything on this Thursday I had, and I took a nap, and I’m doing a little better. You can probably hear from my voice that I’m not doing it 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, referring to 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 well-known chef and loved to entertain. Twenty good friends 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 at CBS Sports headquarters during the World Cup in Qatar and wrote guest columns on the US men’s national team for CBS Sports. He also served as an editorial consultant for football documentaries on Paramount+.
Wahl was also married to Dr. Celine Gounder, a CBS News medical officer. Give in to tweeted that she was “completely in shock” and thanked Wahl’s “football family” and their friends for their support when the news was reported.
Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, said the agency was in contact with officials in Qatar.
“We were deeply saddened to learn of Grant Wahl’s passing and we extend our condolences to his family, with whom we have been in close contact,” Price said. tweeted. “We are working with senior Qatari officials to ensure that his family’s wishes are fulfilled as soon as possible.”
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber tweeted“We are shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the tragic passing of Grant Wahl. He was a kind and caring individual whose passion for football 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.