Grant Wahl, a celebrated sports journalist and soccer analyst for CBS Sports, died early Saturday morning while covering the World Cup in Qatar. He was 48.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Wahl collapsed in the media tribune during the World Cup Argentina-Netherlands quarterfinal game and was treated by paramedics for 30 minutes before he was taken to the hospital. He was pronounced dead on Saturday morning. The cause of death is unknown.
On Nov. 21, Wahl wore a rainbow shirt to the USA-Wales match, and was vocal on social media that he was denied entry. “Just now: Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. ‘You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed,’” Wahl wrote on Twitter.
The U.S. Soccer Federation confirmed Wahl’s death in a statement posted to social media, writing: “The entire U.S. Soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl. Fans of soccer and journalism of the highest quality knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game, and its major protagonists: teams, players, coaches and the many personalities that make soccer unlike any sport.”
Wahl’s wife, Céline Gounder, quote tweeted U.S. Soccer’s post, saying that she is “so thankful for the support of my husband @GrantWahl ‘s soccer family & of so many friends who’ve reached out tonight. I’m in complete shock.”
This year’s competition marked Wahl’s eighth time covering the World Cup. Born in Mission, Kansas, Wahl graduated from Princeton University in 1996. He worked as a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, covering Major League Soccer and the U.S. National Team, as well as a correspondent for Fox Sports. In 2007, he published a bestselling book on David Beckham titled “The Beckham Experiment,” followed by 2018’s “Masters of Modern Soccer: How the World’s Best Play the Twenty-First-Century Game.” Most recently, Wahl was a soccer analyst for CBS Sports and an editorial consultant for Paramount+’s soccer documentaries.