Body of football journalist Grant Wahl returned to US


The body and belongings of soccer journalist Grant Wahl were repatriated to the United States on Monday following his death last week while covering the World Cup in Qatar, a senior State Department official said.

Wahl’s remains and his belongings arrived at New York’s John F Kennedy Airport around 8:30 a.m., the official said.

He was accompanied by a consular official from the US Embassy in Doha, where Wahl’s remains had been placed since shortly after. he fell during friday’s match and later died between Argentina and the Netherlands.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of privacy concerns, had no additional details, but said the embassy in Qatar was working with Wahl’s family to ensure that the repatriation goes smoothly.

Wahl, an American journalist who helped increase the popularity of soccer in the United States and reported on some of the sport’s biggest stories, was 48.

Tributes have been pouring in for Wahl since his death and on Monday US Secretary of State Antony Blinken added his voice to the chorus of praise.

“I greatly appreciate Grant Wahl, whose writing captured the essence of not only the beautiful game, but also the world around it,” Blinken wrote on twitter About an hour after the repatriation is complete.

“I extend my deepest condolences to his family, and thank our embassy team and Qatari partners who worked effectively together to fulfill his wishes,” Blinken wrote.

Wahl, who had complained of respiratory problems earlier in the week and was treated for a possible case of bronchitis, slumped back in his seat in a section of Lusail Stadium reserved for reporters during the game’s overtime, and Journalists around him called for help.

Emergency services crews responded very quickly, treated him on site for 20 or 30 minutes, and then carried him out on a stretcher.

The World Cup organizing committee said he was taken to Doha’s Hamad General Hospital, but did not give a cause of death.

Wahl wrote for Sports Illustrated for more than two decades and then started his own website.

He was a prominent voice informing soccer to an American public during a time of increased interest after the United States hosted the 1994 World Cup.

He also took a critical look at the international organizing bodies of the game.

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