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Friday, January 27, 2023

FIFA honors US soccer journalist Grant Wahl with a tribute at the France-England World Cup match: ‘He should have been here’

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AL KHOR, Qatar — American soccer writer Grant Wahl was honored with a tribute from FIFA on the desk where he was scheduled to work Saturday at the World Cup quarterfinal match between France and England.

A posy of white lilies and a framed photograph of Wahl taken in Qatar was left at the media seat that had been assigned to the 49-year-old journalist who died while covering the World Cup early Saturday.

“Tonight we pay tribute to Grant Wahl at his assigned seat in Al Bayt Stadium. He should have been here,” FIFA said in a statement. “Our thoughts remain with his wife Céline, his family, and his friends at this most difficult time.”

About 20 minutes before the match started, the photograph of Wahl was displayed on big screens in two corners of the stadium. An announcement about his death was made to fans who applauded him.

Wahl fell ill while working during extra time of the Argentina-Netherlands game on Friday at Lusail Stadium. He was treated by medical staff in the media tribune and later taken by ambulance to the hospital.

He was reporting at his eighth World Cup.



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