Grant Wahl's body is returned to the US after he died at World Cup
Grant Wahl’s body is repatriated to the United States and taken straight for independent autopsy organized by his wife, three days after top US soccer journalist’s shock death at the World Cup in Qatar
- The body of well-known US soccer journalist Grant Wahl has arrived in the US
- Reporter died suddenly on Friday after collapsing at World Cup game in Qatar
- His agent said that Wahl had ‘appeared to suffer some kind of acute distress’
- Click here for all your latest international Sports news from DailyMail.com
The body of well-known US soccer journalist Grant Wahl has arrived in the United States following his shock death at the World Cup in Qatar, the State Department said on Monday.
The official said Wahl’s remains and his belongings arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport around 8:30am ET.
They were accompanied by a consular official from the US Embassy in Doha who had had custody of Wahl’s remains since shortly after he collapsed during Friday’s match between Argentina and Holland and later died at the age of 49.
The body of well-known US soccer journalist Grant Wahl has arrived in the United States
Grant Wahl and wife Dr. Celine Gounder in a photo from his Instagram dated 2020. The couple lived in New York City with their two dogs. His widow reportedly wanted his body to be taken to a medical examiner
‘American journalist Grant Wahl has been returned to his family in the US. We’re honored to have shepherded him home, & grateful to the government of Qatar for their cooperation & transparency with our consular process,’ US ambassador to Qatar, Timmy Davis, said in a tweet.
Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated sportswriter who moved to the Substack online publishing platform, had been tweeting about the Holland-Argentina match on Friday.
His agent said that Wahl had ‘appeared to suffer some kind of acute distress during the start of extra time’ at the quarterfinal match.
The agent said attempts were made to revive Wahl in the press box before he was taken to a local hospital, where he was confirmed dead on Friday.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Monday that an autopsy would be conducted on Wahl’s remains, but there was no indication of foul play in his death.
Wahl’s widow, Dr. Celine R. Gounder, wanted his body to be taken to a medical examiner, reports The New York Post.
‘I send my deepest condolences to his family, and thank our Embassy team and Qatari partners who worked together so effectively to fulfill their wishes,’ US Secretary of State Antony Blinken added on Twitter on Monday.
Wahl was a former Sports Illustrated sportswriter who moved to the Substack online platform
Grant Wahl smiles as he holds World Cup replica trophy during ceremony in Doha in November
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ‘thanked Qatari partners’ for speed of repatriation
‘I so appreciated Grant Wahl, whose writing captured not only the essence of the beautiful game but also the world around it.’
Wahl wrote early last week that he had visited a hospital while in Qatar and that health officials told him he likely had bronchitis.
Wahl, who had complained of respiratory problems earlier in the week and had been treated for a possible case of bronchitis, fell back in his seat in a section of Lusail Stadium reserved for journalists during extra time of the game, and reporters adjacent to him called for assistance.
A tribute to Wahl is shown on a screen before England’s quarterfinal game vs. France Saturday
Emergency services workers responded very quickly, treated him for 20 or 30 minutes on site and then took him out on a stretcher. The World Cup organizing committee said he was taken to Doha’s Hamad General Hospital, but it did not state a cause of death.
Wahl wrote for Sports Illustrated for more than two decades and then started his own website. He was a major voice informing an American public of soccer during a time of increased interest after the United States hosted the 1994 World Cup.
He also brought a critical eye to the international organizing bodies of the sport.
Wahl said in late November that he was briefly stopped at a World Cup stadium security screening point when he tried to enter while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community. In Qatar, same-sex relations are illegal.
He said World Cup security denied him entry to the United States opener against Wales and asked him to remove his shirt.
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