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Brother of US reporter who died at World Cup claims he was murdered

Tragic sports scribe Grant Wahl in the rainbow T-shirt that saw him denied entry to the World Cup. <i>Photo: Twitter</i>

Tragic sports scribe Grant Wahl in the rainbow T-shirt that saw him denied entry to the World Cup. Photo: Twitter

Grant Wahl, a top US soccer journalist outspoken in his opposition of Qatar hosting the World Cup, has died while covering the Argentina-Netherlands match in Doha.

Now his brother is claiming the long-time Sports Illustrated writer was murdered after supporting gay rights and writing that the World Cup should never have been awarded to Qatar’s fundamentalist Islamic government.

US Soccer said it was “heartbroken to learn” about the 48-year-old’s death. His wife responded to the US Soccer statement on Twitter, saying she was “in complete shock”.

His brother Eric Wahl suspects foul play, particularly in light of the fact that Wahl was denied entry to the United States’ first game in Qatar vs Wales on November 21 because he was wearing a rainbow T-shirt in  support for the LGBTQI community. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.

Wahl changed shirts and was later allowed in.

Eric Wahl posted a video on Instagram on Friday in which he said: “My name is Eric Wahl. I live in Seattle, Washington. I am Grant Wahl’s brother.

“I’m gay. I’m the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup. My brother was healthy.

Tributes for Grant Wahl

‘He received death threats’

“He told me he received death threats. I do not believe my brother just died. I believe he was killed. And I just beg for any help.”

US media representatives seated near him on Friday said Wahl fell back in his seat in the media enclave at Lusail Iconic Stadium as fellow reporters called for assistance.

Emergency services workers responded very quickly, the reporters said.

Wahl’s own words cast doubt on his brother’s murder theory. Covering his eighth World Cup, he wrote on Monday that he had visited a medical clinic while in Qatar.

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

Wahl was a longtime Sports Illustrated writer before going independent and selling subscriptions to his website. He previously was a contributor to Fox Sports’ football coverage.

-AAP

Topics: Qatar
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