The brother of influential American football journalist Grant Wahl, who died Friday while covering the World Cup in Qatar, says he no longer suspects foul play in his brother’s death.
Grant Wahl, 49, had a “deadly coughing fit” from a persistent case of bronchitis shortly before collapsing while covering Argentina’s quarter-final win against the Netherlands, his brother Eric Wahl said.
Eric previously speculated that foul play may have been involved as the football writer was an outspoken critic of the Qatar government and received death threats after wearing a rainbow shirt during a match.
But on Tuesday, the brother wrote on Twitter: “The family will release a statement on the cause of death shortly. I don’t suspect foul play anymore. It was not [pulmonary embolism].”
Eric hit back on an earlier tweet Monday saying, “It appears possible that Grant may have had a pulmonary embolism and was in a non-shockable state.”
He also claimed there was no portable defibrillator at the stadium, but on Monday posted a correction on Twitter, writing that “according to a US government official, FIFA says AEDs were available at the stadium,” referring to the devices.
It is unclear why Wahl was not used a defibrillator.
Grant Wahl’s body was taken to New York City on Monday for an independent autopsy. His widow, Dr Céline Gounder, an infectious disease doctor who works at Bellevue Hospital, took his body to a municipal medical examiner on Monday.
On Monday, Eric shared an update on the situation, writing, “We are traveling with Grant’s body to the medical examination and autopsy.”
He added: “Thank you to American Airlines for their incredible assistance. Thank you to the NY Port Authority and the US Government. Humiliated.”
Grant Wahl made headlines at the World Cup when he was initially banned from entering the stadium for wearing a shirt with a soccer ball surrounded by a rainbow in support of the LGBTQ+ community for a match between the US and Wales.