Journalist barred by LGBTQIA+ shirt dies in game in Qatar

Sports journalist Grant Wahl, who covered the World Cup in Qatar, died today after becoming ill in the tribunes of the Lusail stadium during Holland vs. Argentina, the quarterfinal game of the tournament that ended with a South American victory. The American was 47 years old.

The information was confirmed by NPR — the radio where the professional worked — by the US soccer federation and by the family members themselves.

In an interview with “The New York Times”, Wahl’s agent, Tim Scanlan, reported that the journalist was in the press box in the final minutes of the game when he felt sick. It is not known whether he died on the way or already in a hospital in Qatar.

“He was not sleeping well. He said: I just need to relax a little”, said the agent to the newspaper, who also reported that Wahl had been unwell in recent days and had tested negative for covid-19.

On social media, Brazilian journalist Francisco De Laurentiis revealed that he saw “the scene happen” by his side. Grant was already sick in overtime of the duel in question, which ended in penalties.

“All of US Soccer are heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl. Football fans and the highest quality journalism knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game and its key players: teams, players, coaches and the many personalities that make soccer different from any sport. Here in the United States, Grant’s passion for soccer and commitment to raising its profile in our sporting scene has played an important role in helping to increase interest and respect for our beautiful game”, began the North American federation.

“Equally important was Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights. That was and will continue to be an inspiration to all. Grant made football his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing did not will be more in USA Soccer, which sends its sincerest condolences to Grant’s wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, and all of his family, friends and colleagues in the media. And we thank Grant for his tremendous dedication and impact on our game in the USA . His writing and the stories he told will live on.”

barred in departure

Grant wore a shirt with a rainbow in Qatar - Reproduction - Reproduction

Grant wore a shirt with a rainbow in Qatar

Image: Reproduction

In recent weeks, Grant was barred from entering a game in his country for wearing a shirt with a rainbow, one of the LGBTQIA+ symbols.

A security guard refused to let me into the stadium for USA v Wales. You have to change your shirt. Not allowed,” Grant wrote on his social media.

On the occasion, the US team faced Wales within the Al Rayyan. The Group B clash ended in a 1-1 draw.

“I’m coughing a lot”

In a podcast shown yesterday, the journalist said that he had had a case of bronchitis in the last few days.

“After 17 games in a row my body told me, even after the US elimination: ‘Man, you’re not getting enough sleep.’ I had a case of bronchitis this week, I went to the medical center twice, including today. I am. feeling good today. Basically canceled everything from Tuesday (6) and slept. I’m better “, he began.

The journalist, however, revealed that he was “coughing a lot” and cited others around him with the problem. “Everybody’s coughing here. Several journalists have been having crazy coughs that sound like they’re going to die.”

“The only thing that impresses me here is that there haven’t been many cases of covid-19 here. I thought it was going to be a problem. We were only seeing normal illnesses, coughs…”, concluded Grant.

Brother says journalist was threatened

On Instagram, Grant’s brother Eric Wahl said the journalist had recently received death threats.

On video, he further stated that he believes the man was murdered.

“I’m gay and the reason he wore the rainbow jersey at the World Cup. My brother was healthy. He told me he received death threats. I don’t believe my brother just died, I believe he was murdered. I beg for any help,” he said.

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