Days after being detained by security personnel for wearing a rainbow-coloured T-shirt during the match between the United States and Wales in Qatar, American journalist Grant Wahl passed away under mysterious circumstances on Saturday (December 10).
Wahl was covering the Quarter Final match between Argentina and the Netherlands at the Lusail Iconic Stadium when he collapsed and died during the extra time segment of the match.
The sports journalist had covered 8 world cups to date. "Just an incredible designed set-piece goal by the Netherlands," he posted minutes before his death.
Wahl's Brother Suspects Foul Play, Says Grant Received Death Threats
Wahl's brother, Eric, suspects foul play from the Qatari government, alleging that Grant may have been murdered and had received threats to his life.
In an Instagram post, Eric Wahl informed that his brother Grant Wahl had received threats to his life. "I am gay. I am the reason he wore the rainbow shirt (representative of the LGBTQ+ community) to the World Cup," he was heard as saying.
While hinting at foul play, Eric pointed out, "My brother was healthy. He told me that he received death threats." He further emphasised, "I do not believe that my brother just died. I believe he was killed. And I just beg for any help." Eric has since turned his account private.
Wahl's Criticism of Qatar Over Treatment of Migrant Workers
A day before his death, on Friday (December 9), in his substack newsletter Wahl slammedQatari World Cup organisers for their lack of empathy towards migrant labourers.
"They just don't care. Qatari World Cup organizers don't even hide their apathy over migrant worker deaths, including the most recent one," he wrote.
The soccer journalist had criticised Nasser Al-Khater, the CEO of the Qatari Supreme Committee, for downplaying the death of a Filipino migrant worker (which was initially brushed under the carpet).
Wahl was referring to an interview with the BBC, during which Naseer said, "We're in the middle of a World Cup, and we have a successful World Cup. And this is something that you want to talk about right now?"
Wahl Detained Over LGBTQ T-Shirt, Banned from Entering Stadium
As previously reported, Wahl was detained by security personnel for wearing a rainbow-coloured T-shirt to the Ahmad bin Ali stadium during the match between the United States and Wales.
He wore the T-shirt to express solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. Wahl was initially stopped by a security guard and asked to remove his shirt. His phone was confiscated while he tried tweeting about the incident.
The journalist was detained for about 25 minutes during which he was told that his rainbow-coloured T-shirt was 'political' in nature. Wahl posted about the incident on social media.