The brother of U.S. sports journalist and LGBTQ+ ally Grant Wahl has spoken out about his sibling’s sudden death while covering the Qatar World Cup, claiming that he was murdered.
Wahl, a correspondent for Meadowlark Media, died shortly after the match between Argentina and the Netherlands on Friday, the 9th of December, in Doha, Qatar, where he reportedly collapsed during a post-match gathering before paramedics performed CPR and carried him away on a stretcher.
The well-known LGBTQ+ ally was previously refused entry to the USA V Wales match on the 21st of November for wearing a rainbow t-shirt to signal his support for LGBTQ+ people.
In a tweet, Wahl had reported that a security guard was refusing to let him in while saying: “You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.”
Wahl later clarified that he had managed to reach the media centre with his shirt intact, however, described the situation as “an unnecessary ordeal” before adding, “Go gays.”
The 48-year-old’s death followed a visit to a medical clinic, where he was told he may have had bronchitis.
“My body finally broke down on me,” Wahl said on his podcast. “Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you.”
Speaking out about his brother’s death, Eric Wahl took to Instagram to say 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,” Eric Wahl said. “I believe he was killed, and I just beg for any help.”
“He was especially concerned about people whose rights were being violated… and he just wanted to share his love of soccer with others,” the brother added.
A spokesperson for the Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the group responsible for putting together the Qatar World Cup, told BBC that “Grant was known for his enormous love of football and was in Qatar to cover his eight FIFA World Cup.”
“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.”