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Family reveals cause of death for World Cup journalist

Grant Wahl died in Qatar while covering the World Cup

American soccer reporter Grant Wahl died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm, his wife Dr. Celine Gounder has said. 

Wahl, 49, collapsed and died in the press box while covering the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands last Friday.

Wahl’s body arrived back in the US on Monday for an autopsy.

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On Wednesday, during an appearance on the television show CBS Mornings, Grounder said her husband died of an aortic aneurysm that had ruptured.  

“It’s just one of these things that had been likely brewing for years, and for whatever reason it happened at this point in time,” she said. 

Grounder released a statement saying that Wahl died from “the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium,” as determined by an autopsy performed by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office. 

“The chest pressure he experienced shortly before his death may have represented the initial symptoms. No amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him,” Grounder added.

She stressed that there was nothing “nefarious” about Wahl’s passing – following suggestions made by the journalist’s brother Eric in the immediate aftermath of his death. 

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Eric Wahl, who is gay, claimed there may have been foul play involved after Grant Wahl tried to access the press box for the USA’s opening group game against Wales in a pro-LGBTQ T-shirt, and later told his brother that he received death threats for the act.

Eric Wahl later retracted those claims and apologized, saying he “regretted” making the video.  

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Tributes were paid to Wahl at the ongoing World Cup.
Body of US soccer journalist returned from Qatar

Grant Wahl had complained of feeling unwell in the days leading up to his death and revealed that he had looked for help at the World Cup media center clinic where it was concluded that he had a bout of bronchitis.

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He said his body “broke down” after having little sleep, and he was suffering from high stress with a heavy workload.  

“It had gotten pretty bad in terms of like the tightness in my chest, tightness, pressure. Feeling pretty hairy, bad,” he said to co-host Chris Wittyngham during an episode of his Futbol with Grant Wahl podcast days before he passed. 

In her CBS appearance, Gounder said that her husband was “so loved by so many people” with the outpouring of grief for him across the journalism industry “like a warm hug when you really need it.”

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December 15, 2022 at 04:43PM
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