Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

US journalist died at World Cup from aortic aneurysm

Ambulance. (Dreamstime/TNS)
December 16, 2022

A sports journalist who suddenly died last week while covering the FIFA World Cup in Qatar suffered from a ruptured aortic aneurysm, his wife said, emphasizing that “there was nothing nefarious about his death.”

CBS Sports soccer analyst Grant Wahl had been critical of the Qatari government prior to his unexpected death Saturday while covering a quarterfinal match, which led his brother, Eric, to publicly speculate he’d been killed in retaliation, the Washington Post reported.

After an autopsy at the New York City medical examiner’s office found a natural cause for Wahl’s death, Eric Wahl retracted that suspicion. And Grant Wahl’s wife, Céline Gounder, is setting the record straight with an appearance on “CBS Mornings” and a post on her late husband’s Substack newsletter.

Gounder, a physician and medical journalist, wrote that Wahl died “from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm.” She said he also had blood in his pericardial sac, which envelops the heart.

She explained the condition Wednesday on CBS Mornings: “The aorta – that’s the big blood vessel that comes out of your heart – is sort of the trunk of all your blood vessels. An aneurysm is a ballooning of the blood vessel wall, and so it’s weak.”

“It’s just one of these things that had been likely brewing for years, and for whatever reason, it happened at this point in time,” Gounder said.

CBS Mornings host Gayle King asked Gounder to comment on the allegations of foul play in Grant Wahl’s death.

“I think in these kinds of moments you really have to show grace to how people grieve,” Gounder said. “My family, my husband’s family, our family has had a lot of loss in the last few years. My brother-in-law was there when my father passed away. He was there to see the chest compressions and the shocks. … There’s just been a lot.”

The day after Grant Wahl’s death, his brother Eric tweeted he had “nothing to apologize for” regardless of whether foul play was detected, because “corrupt people & organizations … must always be held to scrutiny & account.” 

The next day, he tweeted, “I apologize unequivocally.”