American football writer Grant Wahl was honored with a FIFA tribute on his desk for working on Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final match between France and England.
A photograph of white lilies and a framed photo of Wahl taken in Qatar were left on the media seat assigned to the 48-year-old journalist. died early saturday,
“Tonight we pay tribute to Grant Wahl at his designated seat at Al Bayt Stadium. He should have been here,” FIFA said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with his wife Céline, his family and his friends at this most difficult time.”
The initiative’s picture was displayed on big screens in two corners of the stadium about 20 minutes before the start of the match. An announcement about his death was made to the fans who showed their appreciation.
Wahl fell ill while working extra time of Friday’s Argentina-Netherlands match at Lusail Stadium. He was treated by medical staff at the Media Tribune and later taken by ambulance to hospital.
He was reporting from his eighth World Cup. He wrote on his website about visiting a medical clinic in Qatar after feeling ill before saying on his podcast Thursday that he had bronchitis.
Wahl attracted international attention after she was briefly barred from participating in the US match against Wales on 21 November for wearing a rainbow-coloured T-shirt in support of those who identify as LGBTQIA+. Because their rights are criminalized in Qatar, a conservative Muslim nation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.