Journalist Khalid al-Misslam dies at World Cup, after Grant Wahl’s death

A Qatari photographer has died while covering the World Cup — the second journalist to lose his life at the global event following influential US soccer writer Grant Wahl’s death.

Khalid al-Misslam, a photojournalist for local sports outlet Al Kass TV, died on Saturday, the Doha-based Gulf Times reported.

“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,” the Gulf Times reported on Twitter.

The circumstances of al-Misslam’s death were unclear but the announcement was made on the same day that a security guard was seriously injured when he fell at Lusail Iconic Stadium, the Guardian reported.

The guard — who is reportedly a migrant worker — fell about 2 a.m. local time Saturday after the quarter-final game between Argentina and the Netherlands.

A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl.
Grant Wahl suddenly died after collapsing at Lusail Stadium.

One fan told the UK news outlet that the guard fell from a “significant height” at the stadium and was rushed to Hamad hospital, where he was listed in stable but critical condition.

Wahl, 49, died after collapsing at the Lusail Stadium while covering the same game as the guard.

Witnesses said he fell back in his seat, received emergency medical treatment on-site and was taken to a hospital. It was unclear whether he died at the hospital or en route to it.

His sudden death came one day after he revealed that he had visited the medical clinic and was told that what he was fighting was probably bronchitis.

His brother, Eric, said he believed Grant was killed after being outspoken against the Qatari government.

Grant was initially not allowed into the stadium because he had worn a shirt with a soccer ball surrounded by a rainbow in support of the LGBTQ+ community before the US played Wales.

On his Substack, the prominent soccer journalist had also been critical of Qatar, including a post in which he blasted organizers for the deaths of hundreds of workers who were building the tournament stadium.

Grant Wahl.
Grant Wahl’s brother believes the journalist was killed after being outspoken against the Qatari government.
Grant Wahl via REUTERS

“They just don’t care. Qatari World Cup organizers don’t even hide their apathy over migrant worker deaths, including the most recent one,” he wrote.