Grant Wahl, renowned soccer journalist, dies at age 49 at Qatar World Cup

Famed soccer journalist Grant Wall has died, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Friday. Val, 49, was covering the World Cup in Qatar when he died.

Val’s agent, Tim Scanlan, said the reporter was in some serious trouble in the stadium’s press room. quarter final match Between Argentina and the Netherlands, when the two teams go into overtime. Emergency personnel were called to the scene, Scanlan said, but were unable to revive him.

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Qatari authorities said in a statement that Walga received immediate medical attention on the ground and was taken by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital. The exact cause of death is still unknown.

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It was Val tweeting during a match that was part of the eighth World Cup he covered.

“The entire U.S. Soccer family is saddened to learn of the loss of Grant Wall,” U.S. Soccer said in a statement the statement said Friday night. “Football and journalism fans of the highest quality know we can always count on Grant to deliver insightful and engaging stories about the game and its protagonists.”

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Give it a try
FILE — Grant Wall speaks during a panel discussion at the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival New York April 8, 2014 in New York City.

Michael Lossisano/Getty Images

Wall spoke about his health on a Spotify podcast on Thursday, saying he contracted bronchitis while covering the World Cup.

“I took a little time off here myself,” Wall told the audience. “We’ve had two days off here without a game. Seventeen days of non-stop games and my body, I think, even when the USA went out, it was against me, saying, ‘Dude, you’re not getting enough sleep.’ So I’m out this week with bronchitis I’ve been to the medical center twice, including today. I’m feeling better today. Basically, I canceled everything I had this Thursday, I slept, and I’m doing a little better. I’m not 100% here. You can tell by my voice that I’m lying down.”

Scanlan told CBS News that Val had an “aggressive schedule” while in Qatar.

“Was it too much?” I asked. and he didn’t, he lived for it and he loved the World Cup,” Scanlan said, referring to a conversation that took place a week before Val’s death on Dec. 3. “He just got recognized for his eighth World Cup. He turned 48 yesterday. He was an accomplished cook and loved to entertain. Twenty good friends who came over to her apartment last night to celebrate.”

A prolific journalist, Wall has written for several outlets and has been a contributor for CBS Sports. He was an analyst for CBS Sports HQ at the World Cup in Qatar and wrote guest articles for CBS Sports focusing on the US men’s national team. He was also an editorial consultant on soccer documentaries for Paramount+.

Wall is also married to Dr. Celine Gunder, a CBS medical assistant. Gounder tweeted he said he was in “complete shock” and thanked Wall’s “football family” and their friends for their support.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the agency is in contact with Qatari officials.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Grant Val’s death and our condolences to his family, who we have been in close contact with,” Price said. tweeted. “We are working with senior Qatari officials to ensure that his family’s wishes are met as soon as possible.”

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber tweeted: “We are shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the tragic passing of Grant Wall. He was a kind and caring man whose passion for football and commitment to journalism was boundless.”

Until Saturday quarter final match Between England and France, FIFA paid tribute to Val on the Al Bait Stadium video screens.

Give Val's blessing
Tributes are paid to American soccer journalist Grant Wahl before the World Cup quarter-final match between England and France at Al Bait Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar on December 10, 2022.

Getty Images

“Through his work, Grant shared his love of football with millions,” the stadium’s public address announcer said. “FIFA and the world of football send their deepest condolences to his wife Celine, his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Flowers and a photo of Val were placed on the designated press box for the vacant match.

Give Val's blessing
Tributes are paid to American journalist Grant Wahl during the World Cup quarter-final match between England and France at Al Bait Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on December 10, 2022.

Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story listed an incorrect age for Grant Wall and has been updated to correct his age.


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