Grant Wahl Had Bronchitis and Wasn’t Sleeping Well Before His World Cup Death
Grant Wahl, a respected soccer journalist who died Friday at the World Cup in Qatar, wasn’t sleeping well, according to his agent, Tim Scanlan. Scanlan told the paper, “I asked him if he had tried melatonin or anything similar.” He said, “I just need to take it easy.”
The 49-year-old Grant Wahl said on Thursday’s “Futbol with Grant Wahl” podcast that he was tired after 17 straight games. Lastly, he took two days off from his busy coverage of the tournament, which lasts a month, and has had 64 matches in eight venues and five cities over 29 days.
“Even after the U.S. went out, my body told me, ‘Hey, buddy, you’re not sleeping enough,’ and it turned against me,” Wahl said on the show. This week, I had bronchitis. I’ve been to the medical clinic at the media center twice, including today.
I’m better today. On Thursday, I took a nap and changed everything. “I’m improving. My voice probably shows that I’m not here.” Wahl turned away from Ahmad bin Ali Stadium at first because he was wearing a rainbow T-shirt.
The Qatari government had promised not to crack down on pro-LGBTQ protests at the event, but they did. Wahl also said that Qatar was bad for its treatment of people’s rights and for hosting the World Cup.
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Eric Wahl says that his brother got death threats in Qatar because he wore a rainbow shirt, which was reported by FIFA and the Qatari government.
Grant Wahl was one of the best writers for Sports Illustrated for almost 20 years. He wrote “The Beckham Experiment” and wrote about soccer for Fox Sports and CBS. Wahl said on Monday that he had been sick and went to the doctor.
“My body finally broke down,” it said in his newsletter. “Three weeks of little sleep, high stress, and a lot of work can do that to you… The 10 days before the USA-Netherlands game, I had a cold, but the night before the game, it turned into something worse, and I could feel new pressure and pain in my upper chest.
After the news came out, Wahl’s wife, Céline R. Gounder, an infectious disease doctor who worked on President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board transition team, tweeted, “So thankful for the support of my husband @GrantWahl’s soccer family and so many friends who have reached out tonight. I’m stunned.”