By Promise Eze
The World Cup has been full of dramas as underrated teams have been seen sending big names back home. However, this World Cup appears to be strangely unique as two journalists from different countries covering the World Cup have died within the space of a week.
Khalid al-Misslam, a Qatari photojournalist for a local sports outlet, died on Saturday while covering the World Cup
Al-Misslam worked for the Qatari news channel Al Kass TV. The circumstances around his death are unclear, with the TV channel only briefly mentioning his passing on their live broadcast.
His death comes days after influential American soccer journalist Grant Wahl died in Qatar while covering the World Cup. He was 48.
While covering Argentina’s quarter-final win over the Netherlands, Wahl, who had run his own sporting news subscription service after working for Sports Illustrated, collapsed at Lusail Iconic Stadium and was rushed to a nearby hospital before his death.
It’s unclear whether he died at the hospital or in transport.
His brother, Eric, believes foul play from the Qatari government may have been involved.
Prior to the American team’s game against Wales, Wahl was initially not allowed into Ahmad bin Ali Stadium and detained for 30 minutes for wearing a shirt depicting a soccer ball surrounded by a rainbow. He was eventually let into the stadium.
The Qatari government cracked down on pro-LGBTQ demonstrations at the tournament despite their original promises not to.
It has emerged that Wahl featured on a podcast the day before his death and eluded to feeling sick.