The US department said in a statement that the remains and belongings of sports journalist Grant Wahl were returned to the United States on Monday after his death while covering the World Cup in Qatar.
Wahl’s remains and belongings arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport around 8:30 a.m. ET, the department said. A consular official from the U.S. Embassy in Doha had had custody of Wahl’s remains since shortly after he died during Argentina’s match against the Netherlands on Friday.
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department Ned Price said that Qatar authorities cooperating with the embassy to return Wahl’s body was the result of no foul play being detected.
“We have seen no indication of foul play or anything nefarious at this point,” Price said in Washington.
John Wahl helped grow the popularity of soccer in the United States and reported on some of the sport’s biggest stories, died at 49, according to friends and colleagues.
Since Wahl’s demise, tributes have poured in, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken added his voice to the chorus of appreciation on Monday.
A little over an hour after the repatriation was complete, Blinken wrote on Twitter that he appreciated Grant Wahl’s writing, which captured not only the beauty of the game but also the world around it.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar