There is no clear favorites to win the trophy in Qatar as Argentina and France are locked level with the bookmakers odds ahead of an incredible final as Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe carry the hopes of their respective nations.
LUSAIL, Qatar — Grant Wahl, one of the most well-known soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. He was 48.
U.S. media seated near him said Wahl fell back in his seat in a section of Lusail Stadium reserved for journalists during extra time of the game, and reporters adjacent to him called for assistance.
Emergency services workers responded very quickly, treated him for 20 or 30 minutes on the spot and then took him out on a stretcher, said Keir Radnedge, a veteran British sports journalist who was working nearby at the time.
The World Cup organizing committee said he was taken to Doha’s Hamad General Hospital, but it did not state a cause of death. “We are in touch with the US Embassy and relevant local authorities to ensure the process of repatriating the body is in accordance with the family’s wishes,” it said in a statement.
Grant Wahl was a dedicated colleague and friend to so many at FOX Sports.
We remain shocked and saddened by his passing, and extend our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to his wife, family, friends and colleagues. pic.twitter.com/PmWVdftKZl
Wahl, who wrote for Sports Illustrated for a decade then started his own website, was a major voice in introducing professional soccer to an American public more used to seeing the sport as a school-level game. He also brought a critical eye to the organizational bodies of the international sport.
He “really helped put soccer on the mainstream sports map in the States,” Radnedge said.
“Grant had a strong moral compass, on where sports should be and how sport … should help set standards for people,” he said. “There was never any doubt that Grant was on the side of the good guys in wanting soccer to make the best of itself.”
Basketball legend LeBron James paid tribute to Grant Wahl, an American sportswriter who died while reporting on the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands in Qatar.
Wahl was covering his eighth World Cup. He wrote Monday on his website that he had visited a medical clinic while in Qatar.
“My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you,” Grant Wahl wrote. “What had been a cold over the last 10 days turned into something more severe on the night of the USA-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort.”
Wahl wrote that he tested negative for COVID-19 and sought treatment for his symptoms.
“I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a bit better just a few hours later. But still: No bueno,” he wrote.
Wahl tweeted on Wednesday that he had celebrated his birthday that day.
“We could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game, and its major protagonists,” the U.S. Soccer Federation said in a statement. “Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all. Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.”
Wahl’s wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, tweeted that she was thankful for the support of her husband’s “soccer family” and friends who had reached out.
“I’m in complete shock,” wrote Gounder, who is an associate professor at New York University School of Medicine, an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital Center and a CBS News contributor.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a tweet that American officials were in touch with Qatari authorities “to see to it that his family’s wishes are fulfilled as expeditiously as possible.”
Wahl wore a rainbow T-shirt in support of LGBTQ rights to the United States’ World Cup opener against Wales on Nov. 21 and wrote that security refused him entry and told him to remove the shirt. Gay and lesbian sex is criminalized in Qatar, a conservative Muslim emirate.
Wahl wrote he was detained for 25 minutes at Ahmed Bin Ali stadium in Al Rayyan, then was let go by a security commander. Wahl said FIFA apologized to him.
Among Grant Wahl’s work before he began covering soccer exclusively was a Sports Illustrated cover story about LeBron James in 2002, when James was a junior at St. Vincent-St. Mary High in Akron, Ohio.
“He was always pretty cool to be around. He spent a lot of time in my hometown of Akron,” James said in Philadelphia after the Los Angeles Lakers lost in overtime to the 76ers. “Any time his name would come up, I’ll always think back to me as a teenager having Grant in our building down at St. V’s. It’s a tragic loss. It’s unfortunate to lose someone as great as he was. I wish his family the best. May he rest in paradise.”
A voter at times in FIFA’s annual awards, Grant Wahl was among 82 journalists honored last week by FIFA and the international sports press association AIPS for attending eight or more World Cups.
“His love for football was immense and his reporting will be missed by all who follow the global game,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said.
Wahl graduated from Princeton in 1996 and worked for Sports Illustrated from 1996 to 2021, known primarily for his coverage of soccer and college basketball. He then launched his own website.
Wahl also worked for Fox Sports from 2012-19.
His death at the World Cup left fellow journalists covering the games stunned.
“You come to a World Cup as a journalist to work, to share the stresses, the pressures but also the enjoyments and the fascination of it – and to share that with your readers, your listeners, your viewers. That’s what Grant was doing, that’s what he enjoyed doing. Everybody recognized that enthusiasm in him,” Radnedge said.
“So for him to not be with us anymore at such a young age, that’s an immense shock.”
From Mexico’s snazzy away number to Germany going for a solid new look for their home kit and Puma rolling out a very specific and similar look for their national teams, just like they did for their club teams on their away kits, there is a lot to unpack here.
Which one of these jerseys will you be wearing with pride during the World Cup? And which one will you be wearing because it looks really cool?
Below is our rankings of the World Cup kits for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.
The home kit is classic. You can’t really mess up the blue and white stripes. Again, another lovely away kit. The purple is perfect and this just looks slick and silky. Much like Lionel Messi’s footwork.
Te presentamos nuestra nueva camiseta alternativa para el Mundial de #Qatar 💜
The new Away Jersey is inspired by Croatia’s nightlife and natural beauty, with vibrant Laser Blue checks reflecting the vibrancy of our country’s fast-moving festival culture and the azure waters of our coastline.#Croatia | @nikefootball | #Vatreni❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/RAjYGDzJE8
This is the best of the Puma jerseys, with the home kit very slick. Senegal’s away kit is very distinctive and the green is lovely. This big panel on the middle of the kit is something we will get used to seeing a lot of during the World Cup.
Well, these are different. One All Sports is the brand behind these kits and the Indomitable Lions have a theme. One of those designs that the more you look at it, the better it gets. The third kit is sneaky good.
Not quite sure what to make of this. The same velvety style as the Netherlands home shirt on Australia’s home shirt. Just doesn’t work. The away kit is also just very bland.
These home kits are just a little too plain and the flame pattern on the shoulder isn’t great and looks like a shirt I’d wear to my midweek bowling league. A missed opportunity. The same applies for the away kit. Belgium’s golden generation won’t look golden this World Cup.
Just very plain. Not bad, but just, well, nothing really going on here.
Just very bland overall. The pinstripes on the home shirt are okay but then there’s just nothing. On the away shirt, another Puma effort with not a lot going on and the panel in the middle is just a bit of an eyesore.
After the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010 it was quickly decided that it would be too hot to host the tournament during its normal window in the summer months of June and July. Therefore the first-ever winter World Cup would take place. Domestic leagues around the world, and particularly in Europe, have had to postpone their seasons to accommodate this winter World Cup. Most will restart in late December and early January.
What are the laws in Qatar for the World Cup?
Laws around drinking alcohol in Qatar have been relaxed for the tournament as fans will have certain zones were they can drink inside and outside stadiums. There are also designated fan zones and drunk tanks where fans can sober up. In a recent interview with our partners in the UK at Sky Sports, the leader of Qatar’s World Cup bid, Nasser Al Khater, said everybody is welcome in Qatar, including people from the LGBTQ+ community. He also said fans from the LGBTQ+ community can bring rainbow flags and show affection. Qatar has not changed anti-LGBTQ+ laws amid concerns of visiting fans, but Al Khater told Sky that “none will be discriminated against during the 29-day tournament and that gay fans can hold hands.”
What dates are the World Cup 2022?
The World Cup starts on November 20, 2022 and the final is on December 18, 2022.
What time do games kick off at the World Cup?
Group stage game kick off times will be at 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm (all ET).
Where and how can I watch the World Cup games live in the USA?
In the USA you can watch on TV in English on Fox and on TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock.
How do World Cup groups work?
Each of the eight World Cup groups have four teams in them. The top two teams in each group advance to the last 16 to participate in the knockout rounds. The bottom two teams in each group are knocked out. If you win a game in the knockout round you advance to the next round and if you lose, you’re out.
If teams finish level on points in their World Cup group stage standings, the following criteria is used to determine which team will advance to the last 16:
1) goal difference in all matches
2) number of goals scored in all group matches
3) points obtained in matches played between teams in question
4) goal difference in matches played between teams in question
5) number of goals scored in matches played between teams in question
6) Fair play points in all group matches
7) Drawing of lots
How many players can you bring to the World Cup? What is the size of the roster?
Each team can select a 26-man squad for their World Cup roster. That is an increase on the usual 23-man squad due to the extra demands of squeezing in a World Cup in the middle of the club season.
What is the World Cup mascot called for 2022?
The mascot for Qatar 2022 is called Laʼeeb. That name is an Arabic term for ‘super-skilled player’ and Qatar say the mascot will be known for his ‘youthful spirit’ and ‘spreading joy and confidence’ everywhere he travels.
How many tickets have been sold for the 2022 World Cup? And which countries have bought the most tickets?
95 percent of tickets have been sold for the World Cup. That amounts to almost three million tickets. The top 10 countries where tickets have been purchased are: Qatar, USA, Saudi Arabia, England, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, France, Brazil and Germany.
What are the record viewership stats for the World Cup?
Highest average attendance at a tournament remains in the USA in 1994, as an average of 68,991 fans watched each game.
How many people will watch the World Cup?
It is predicted that 5 billion people around the world will watch the World Cup action. That will surpass the 3.5 billion who watched the 2018 tournament in Russia.
Which World Cup had the most goals?
Both the 1998 and 2014 tournaments had the most goals scored, with 171 scored at each. The World Cup with the most goals per game ratio is 1954, which averaged 5.38 goals per game.
Which World Cup had the least goals?
Both the 1930 and 1934 tournaments had the fewest goals, with 70 in each. However, that is understandable as the 1930 tournament had just 13 teams and 1934 had 16 teams compared to 32 teams today. The World Cup with the fewest goals per game ratio is 1990, which had 2.21 per game.
With the 2022 World Cup fast approaching (just over two months to go, everyone), the scramble for spots in Gregg Berhalter’s squad is well and truly on and that is leading to some really good performance from USMNT youngsters all across Europe.
From Germany to Italy and Spain to Turkey, there is a lot going on with these American talents.
When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022 Group stage game kick off times: 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm (all ET) Location: Qatar TV channel in English: Fox TV channel in Spanish: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
After grabbing two assists in the win against Getafe last week, U.S. midfielder Yunus Musah started but couldn’t stop Valencia losing 2-1 at Rayo Vallecano. Musah was his typical self, buzzing around and making forward runs to try and help get Valencia back in the game. His cross led to a huge chance early in the second half but Nico Gonzalez couldn’t convert and moments later scored an own goal to seal the win for Rayo. Musah, still just 19, was booked in the second half and played the full 90 minutes. Valencia have lost three of their first five games in La Liga and Musah has started all five and played the full 90 in four games.
Marco Rose got off to the perfect start as RB Leipzig’s new manager, as he saw his new side thump his former side Borussia Dortmund 3-0. Two first half goals from Willi Orban and a stunner from Dominik Szoboszlai put Leipzig in a commanding position as substitute Amadou Haidara scored a late goal to clinch it. USMNT attacking midfielder Gio Reyna, 19, came on in the second half as he continues his recovery from long-term injury issues. Reyna (who grabbed two assists in their midweek Champions League win) was subbed on in the 59th minute and had a shot blocked and tried to get his side going, but they finished the day with zero shots on goal. Not great.
Elsewhere in Germany’s top-flight, Mathys Tel made Bayern history as the 17-year-old made his first Bundesliga start against Stuttgart and became their youngest-ever goalscorer in the Bundesliga. He also became the fourth-youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history. What a moment. Bayern did cough up a stoppage time equlalizer, though, as Matthijs de Ligt gave away a penalty kick and Stuttgart snatched the 2-2 draw. Bayern have won three and drawn three of their opening six games this season.
Pefok misses PK, McKennie starts in draw; Dest, De La Torre unused subs
Jordan Pefok missed a first half penalty kick but he continues to help Union Berlin as they secured a 1-0 win against FC Cologne and they sit top of the Bundesliga table on 14 points after six games. With Union already 1-0 up, Pefok hit his penalty kick straight at goalkeeper Marvin Schwabe in the 10th minute. It was a very poor penalty kick. Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Joe Scally started at right back and played the full 90 as Borussia Monchengladbach drew 0-0 at second-place SC Freiburg.
In Serie A, Weston McKennie started and played 85 minutes for Juventus who were 2-0 down at home to Salernitana but Juve fought back to make it 2-2 in the 93rd minute. They thought they had won it when Arkadiusz Milik scored late on but the goal was chalked off by VAR and Milik was then sent off as he was shown a second yellow card for taking his shirt off in celebration. Oh dear. Juve sit in 8th place on 10 points, while Napoli, Atalanta and AC Milan all have 14 points atop the table. Speaking of AC Milan, Sergino Dest was an unused sub as 10-man Milan battled to a 2-1 win at Sampdoria, as Olivier Giroud was the hero for the reigning champs.
In La Liga, midfielder Luca de la Torre, 24, was an unused sub as Celta Vigo were smashed 4-1 by Atletico Madrid. Their crosstown rivals Real Madrid continue to set the early-season pace as they roared back from 1-0 down at home to Real Mallorca and won 4-1 thanks to a stunner from Federico Valverde, plus a Vinicius Jr go-ahead goal and goals from Rodrygo and Antonio Rudiger. Barcelona also continued their fine start to the new season as they won 4-0 at Cadiz and sit in second-place, two points behind Real Madrid.
This solo run and goal by Fede Valverde is sensational! 🤩
Bryan Reynolds started and played the full 90 at right back for Westerlo as they beat Belgian giants Anderlecht 1-0, while elsewhere in Belgium Sam Vines played the full 90 at left back as Royal Antwerp won 2-0 against Cercle Brugge to remain perfect at the top of the table with eight wins from eight this season. Staying in Belgium’s top-flight, center back Mark McKenzie put in another fine display as Genk won 2-1 at Union Saint-Gilloise.
Across the border in the Netherlands, Ricardo Pepi marked his first appearance for new club Groningen with an assist on their winning goal against Cambuur. The FC Dallas product left Augsburg on a season-long loan to Groningen and it looks like the striker may get on pretty well in the Eredivisie. Coming on as a half time sub, Pepi set up the winner with 20 minutes to go as he won the ball back and set up a counter.
In Greece, Konrad de la Fuente came on as a second half sub for Olympiacos as they drew at home to Volos and sit in second place in the table. While in Turkey, Haji Wright started up top and played the full 90 minutes for Antalyaspor but they lost 1-0 at Kayserispor. Finally, in Portugal Reggie Cannon started but was subbed off at half time as Boavista came from behind to win 2-1 at Arouca. Benfica lead the way in Portugal’s top-flight with six wins from six to start the season.