The President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Grant Wahl after hearing the news of his passing whilst reporting at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Doha.
Wahl, 49, was at the centre of the spotlight for being detained in Qatar on November 21 by security staff after he wore a rainbow shirt to the opening match between the US and Wales teams, showing support for LGBTQ people in a country where same sex relations are outlawed.
“It is with disbelief and immense sadness that I have been made aware of the passing of renowned sports journalist Grant Wahl, whilst reporting on a quarter-final match during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
“On behalf of FIFA and the football community, we express our sincerest condolences to his wife Céline, his family, and his friends at this most difficult time,” FIFA President said.
Wahl’s agent, Tim Scanlan, said that the journalist “appeared to have suffered some sort of acute distress in the press room” of the stadium on Friday evening during thebetween Argentina and the Netherlands, when the two teams began playing in extra time.
Paramedics were called to the scene, Scanlan said, but were unable to revive him.
Wahl first reported on the FIFA World Cup in the United States in 1994 and had reported on every subsequent tournament.
He was recently honoured at a joint FIFA-AIPS Journalists on the Podium event in Doha, where he received an award from two-time FIFA World Cup winner, Ronaldo.