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A Second Journalist Has 'Died Suddenly' While Covering The World Cup In Qatar

Second journalist dies suddenly at FIFA World Cup in Qatar

A second journalist has “died suddenly” while working at the World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar.

Days ago, influential American soccer journalist Grant Wahl unexpectedly passed away while covering a soccer match at the massive tournament. Wahl was just 48 years old at the time of his death, and many were shocked and suspicious over it. Now, an equally-unexpected death has occurred again among another member of the media working at the event.

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According to the Gulf Times, photojournalist Khalid al-Misslam died on Saturday. It is unclear how old he was, but the initial report from the outlet was that he “died suddenly.” He had been covering the FIFA soccer event for local sports outlet Al Kass TV in Qatar. In an announcement about al-Misslam’s death posted to Twitter on Saturday, the outlet asked for condolences to be sent to his family as they grapple with his sudden and shocking passing:

“Al Kass TV photojournalist Khalid al-Misslam passed away recently. Al-Misslam, a Qatari, died suddenly while covering the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. We believe in Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for him, and send our deepest condolences to his family.”

So sad.

We also send our condolences to al-Misslam’s family during this awful time. Rest In Peace…

As of Monday morning, the circumstances surrounding the photojournalist’s death were not clear. Per TMZ, other local Qatari media outlets claim the man “collapsed during the Saturday games and died later in the local hospital.” As with Wahl, the suddenness is shocking, and the lack of answers certainly has people on edge.

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In Wahl’s case, the American journalist had complained of being sick just days before his death. He had visited a Qatari medical clinic one day prior to his passing and was told he likely had bronchitis. However, mourning family members are skeptical about what happened. Wahl’s brother Eric Wahl quickly came out with his belief that Grant was allegedly targeted after being outspoken against the Qatari government.

In a prior match between the United States and Wales, Wahl was supposedly held up over being allowed into the stadium to cover the game because he wore a shirt with a soccer ball surrounded by a rainbow in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Wahl was also outspoken in his writing over alleged human rights abuses in Qatar, including the deaths of hundreds of migrant workers who built the nation’s soccer stadiums in preparation for the tournament.

All this comes amid a third shocking event that occurred during the games, as well. Also on Saturday, The Guardian reported that a security guard was severely injured after falling from “a significant height” at Lusail Iconic Stadium (shown above) in the Qatari city of Lusail. The guard reportedly fell at about 2:00 a.m. local time on Saturday, hours after the stadium hosted the tournament’s quarterfinal game between teams representing Argentina and The Netherlands.

That outlet reports the guard is a migrant worker. He was rushed to Hamad Hospital in the city, where he is now listed in stable but critical condition. That stadium is the same one where Wahl collapsed and died late last week while covering the same match between the two countries.

[Image via Al Jazeera English/YouTube]

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Dec 12, 2022 10:07am PDT