Peers, players and fans alike are mourning the sudden and tragic loss of US journalist Grant Wahl.
The 49-year-old passed away while out in Qatar working on the men’s World Cup coverage. He collpased while reporting on the quarter-final fixture between Argentina and the Netherlands in Lusail.
The exact cause of his death is yet to be confirmed.
Wahl had not long celebrated his 49th birthday and had recently written on his blog: “The older I get, the more I appreciate being able to come to these World Cups and build relationships with media members from around the world.”
A line that hits hard was his endeavour to cover 17 World Cups. He assured his readers he was “damned if I’m not going to try” to reach the milestone, and told them to “check back with me in 2058.”
Tributes for Grant Wahl
Tributes have flooded in from all corners of the sporting world for the much loved and respected sportswriter.
Chief football writer at the iPaper Daniel Storey tweeted: “Grant was a fearless, fierce writer who it seemed helped people whenever he could. We could all be more like that.”
Wahl was never shy of reporting on hard hitting news regarding the sport he loved.
Sports illustrated released him from his contract after he challenged their pay cuts to staff during the pandemic. He repeatedly highlighted human rights abuses in Qatar and used his platform to show allyship to women, the LGBTQ+ community, and migrant workers.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King also paid tribute to Wahl.
“A talented journalist, Grant was an advocate for the LGBTQ community and a prominent voice for women’s soccer,” she wrote. “He used his platform to elevate those whose stories needed telling.”
A friend to Her Football Hub, an ally to many in the women’s football community. A role model for many journalists both new and accomplished. Grant Wahl will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this extremely difficult time.