Fans at the Al Bayt Stadium watching the France vs England FIFA World Cup 2022 quarterfinal applauded journalist Grant Wahl who died on Friday. The winner of the knock-out game will play Morocco in the semi-final on Thursday. 

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Wahl, days after he was detained for wearing an LGBTQ-themed shirt at a stadium, died covering the Argentina vs Netherlands quarter-finals game on Friday. The 48-year-old fell back in his seat in a section of Lusail Stadium reserved for journalists during extra time of the game. He was taken to the hospital. 

FIFA, ahead of the England vs France game, said that the former Sports Illustrated reporter will be honoured at the Al Bayt Stadium. 

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“Tonight we pay tribute to Grant Wahl at his assigned seat in Al Bayt Stadium. He should have been here. Our thoughts remain with his wife Céline, his family, and his friends at this most difficult time,” FIFA said in a statement.

About 20 minutes before the match started, the photograph of Wahl was displayed on big screens in two corners of the stadium. An announcement about his death was made to fans who applauded him.


“We are in touch with the US Embassy and relevant local authorities to ensure the process of repatriating the body is in accordance with the family’s wishes,” the World Cup organizing committee said. 

Wahl, covering his eighth World Cup, had complained that he was feeling some pressure in his upper chest. The reporter said he visited a medical clinic in Qatar

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“My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you,” Wahl wrote. “What had been a cold over the last 10 days turned into something more severe on the night of the USA-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort.”

Wahl wrote that he tested negative for COVID-19 and sought treatment for his symptoms.

“I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a bit better just a few hours later. But still: No bueno,” he wrote.