A tribute to the famous journalist Grant Wall will be poured. The 48-year-old who helped put American soccer on the map died suddenly while covering the World Cup in Qatar.
Val seemed to be in generally good health, but was suffering from bronchitis.
“He cared about people. He was compassionate, and whenever he saw something was wrong, Grant would write about it,” said agent and friend Tim Scanlon.
US men’s national team captain Tyler Adams expressed his deepest condolences, tweeting: “As players, we have the utmost respect for the work of journalists, & Grant’s was a giant voice in football, tragically silenced.”
LeBron James, whom Wall famously profiled for Sports Illustrated when James was in high school, also paid tribute.
“This is a tragic loss. It’s a pity to lose such a great person like him,” he said.
Val fell in the final minutes of the quarter-final match between the Netherlands and Argentina. Witnesses say he fell to the ground and paramedics performed CPR on him for about 20 minutes before he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
In the last days of his life, the athlete told listeners that he had bronchitis.
“Many journalists have a cough. Sometimes it sounds like a death rattle,” Wall said on the podcast, adding that he tested negative for COVID and received medication to treat it.
Wall has long been an outspoken voice in football journalism, most recently reporting on the conditions faced by migrant workers living in Qatar.
“The story is that they are not well paid. They are mistreated. A lot of people died,” Val also said in the podcast.
Just three weeks ago, Wall wore a rainbow jersey to a World Cup game in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are illegal. According to him, the security initially refused to let him into the stadium.
The The US State Department said it was in contact with Qatari officials to carry out the wishes of Val’s family, however, it is not yet known when Val’s body will be returned to the family.
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