Grant Wahl’s family reveal possible cause of World Cup journalist’s death

The brother of influential American football journalist Grant Wahl, who died on 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 cough’ due to stubborn bronchitis shortly before collapsing while covering Argentina’s quarter-final victory over the Netherlands, said his brother Eric Wahl.

Eric previously speculated that foul play may have been involved as the football writer was an outspoken critic of the Qatari government and received death threats after wearing a rainbow shirt to a match.

But on Tuesday, the brother wrote on Twitter: “Family will be releasing a cause of death statement soon. I no longer suspect foul play. It was not [pulmonary embolism].”

Grant Wahl suddenly collapsed on Friday while covering the quarter-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands.
PA
Eric and Grant Wahl
Eric Wahl (right) has been candid about theories linked to his brother’s sudden death at the World Cup in Qatar on Friday.
Twitter / @ziplamak
Grant Wahl
Wahl was an outspoken critic of the Qatari government and received death threats after wearing a rainbow shirt to a game.
Getty Images

Eric returned to an earlier tweet from Monday in which he said, “It appears possible that Grant has suffered a pulmonary embolism and is in non-shockable condition.”

He also claimed that there were no portable defibrillators in the stadium, but later posted a correction on Twitter on Monday, writing that “According to a US government official, FIFA says AEDs were available in the stadium. “, referring to devices.

It’s unclear why a defibrillator wasn’t used on Wahl.

Grant Wahl
Grant reportedly wore the rainbow jersey to World Cup matches to support his brother Eric, who is gay.
Grant Wahl via REUTERS
Eric Wahl on Instagram
Eric Wahl provided updates after his brother’s sudden death on his social media accounts, although he set his Instagram to private after questioning whether it was foul play.
eewahl/Instagram

Grant Wahl’s body was flown to New York on Monday for an independent autopsy. His widow, Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease physician who works at Bellevue Hospital, brought his body to a city medical examiner on Monday.

On Monday, Eric shared an update on the situation, writing, “We are traveling with Grant’s body for medical examination and autopsy.”

He added: “Thank you to American Airlines for their incredible help. Thanks to the NY Port Authority and the US Government. Humbled.

Grant Wahl made headlines during the World Cup when he was initially not allowed to enter the stadium because he wore a shirt with a soccer ball surrounded by a rainbow to support the LGBTQ+ community ahead of a game between USA and Wales.

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