A U.S. sportswriter covering the World Cup, Grant Wahl, died in Qatar on Friday, media outlet NPR and U.S. Soccer said.
“NPR can confirm the death of longtime soccer sportswriter Grant Wahl. He died today in Doha, Qatar while covering the Argentina-Netherlands World Cup quarterfinal,” an NPR reporter tweeted late on Friday. U.S. Soccer said it was “heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl.”
Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated journalist who now publishes on Substack, said last month that he was briefly detained when he tried to enter a World Cup stadium in Qatar while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community in a country where same-sex relations are illegal.
He said in late November that World Cup security denied him entry to the United States’ opener against Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan and asked him to take his shirt off.
He was also tweeting about the Netherlands-Argentina match earlier on Friday. His wife responded to the U.S. Soccer statement on Twitter, saying she was “in complete shock“.
Details surrounding his death were not fully known as the news emerged.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.