Second journalist dies at Qatar World Cup – days after US sports writer unexpectedly passed away

Composite photo of Khalid al-Misslam and Grant Wahl, two journalists who "died suddenly" while reporting at the World Cup in Qatar

A second journalist has reportedly died while working at the World Cup in Qatar, days after the death of 48-year-old reporter Grant Wahl.

The Al Kass TV photojournalist Khalid al-Misslam “died suddenly” while covering the World Cup, said the Gulf Times, an English news outlet based in Qatar.

The outlet tweeted: “Al-Misslam, a Qatari, died suddenly while covering the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. 

“We believe in Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for him, and send our deepest condolences to his family.”

The Daily Mail reported that Al Kass TV, where Al-Misslam worked, briefly mentioned his death during a live broadcast, and said it was waiting on further details.

Grant Wahl, a US sports writer who wore a rainbow shirt while in Qatar to support his brother Eric, who is gay, passed suddenly on Friday (9 December), following the Argentina-Netherlands match.

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The Meadowlark Media correspondent reportedly collapsed during post-match gatherings; paramedics performed CPR, however it was reported that he was soon carried away.

His death at just 48 years old was confirmed a few hours after in a statement from both the US Soccer Twitter page and his wife, Céline Gounder, who wrote that she was “in complete shock”.

A day prior, Wahl had mentioned during an episode of his podcast that he had visited a medical clinic and was told he may have had bronchitis.

“My body finally broke down on me… Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you,” he said.

“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.”

Grant Wahl stands infront of a red back drop with the Qatar World Cup logo written across it, while holding a miniature replica of the World Cup trophy, wearing a black blazer.
Grant Wahl received a replica World Cup trophy after covering his eighth World Cup. (Getty)

His brother, Eric Wahl, said in an emotional clip posted on Instagram that he believed Grant was healthy and that, while reporting on the World Cup, Grant had “received death threats”.

“I do not believe my brother just died… I believe he was killed, and I just beg for any help,” he said.

He added that Grant was one of the most sincere people he’d ever known, adding: “He was especially concerned about people whose rights were being violated… and he just wanted to share his love of soccer with others.”

In its statement, a US Soccer spokesperson said the organisation was “heartbroken” to learn of Wahl’s death.

“Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all,” it read.

“We are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.”

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