Influential U.S. soccer journalist Grant Wahl died in Qatar while covering the World Cup, his brother announced. He was 48.
While covering Argentina’s quarterfinal win over the Netherlands on Friday, Wahl, who had run his own Substack after a long career at Sports Illustrated, collapsed at Lusail Iconic Stadium and was rushed to a nearby hospital. It’s unclear whether he died at the hospital or in transport.
His brother, Eric, believes foul play from the Qatari government may have been involved.
“My name is Eric Wahl. I live in Seattle, Washington. I am Grant Wahl’s brother. I’m gay,” he said in a video posted to his Instagram account before making the account private. “I’m the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup. My brother was healthy. He told me he received death threats. I do not believe my brother just died. I believe he was killed. And I just beg for any help.”
Prior to the USMNT’s World Cup game against Wales, Wahl was initially not allowed into Ahmad bin Ali Stadium and detained for 30 minutes for wearing a shirt depicting a soccer ball surrounded by a rainbow. He was eventually let into the stadium.