Soccer world mourns loss of journalist Grant Wahl, who was instrumental in growing the sport in the U.S.

Grant Wahl
Grant Wahl, seen here in 2014, died on Friday while covering the World Cup in Qatar. He was 48. (Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

Longtime American journalist and soccer reporter Grant Wahl died on Friday while covering the World Cup in Qatar.

He was 48.

Wahl was covering the Argentina-Netherlands match at Lusail Stadium on Friday when he was seen seemingly unconscious in his seat in the press box. Medics attended to him for nearly 30 minutes before taking him out on a stretcher and to a local hospital. His cause of death is unknown.

Wahl was a beloved reporter throughout the United States who worked for both CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated before launching his own platform through Substack. Outside of his soccer coverage, Wahl was responsible for several iconic Sports Illustrated cover stories — including "The Chosen One" story on LeBron James when he was still in high school, a Kevin Durant feature when he was at Texas and more.

Wahl had made headlines for refusing to take off a rainbow shirt in Qatar, and frequently wrote about controversial issues surrounding the event.

Wahl’s wife, Céline Gounder, and U.S. Soccer confirmed the news.

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Plenty of those in the soccer world and journalists throughout the United States paid tribute to Wahl on social media on Friday night. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, whom Wahl helped introduce to the world with his "The Chosen One" Sports Illustrated article, also mourned the loss:

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