World Cup: Second journalist dies in Qatar 'unexpectedly' - report

Khalid al-Misslam's death came to light shortly after a US sports journalist died suddenly while covering the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

A Qatar 2022 logo is seen in front of the skyline of the West Bay in Doha ahead of the FIFA World Cup, November 10, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/JOHN SIBLEY/FILE PHOTO)
A Qatar 2022 logo is seen in front of the skyline of the West Bay in Doha ahead of the FIFA World Cup, November 10, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JOHN SIBLEY/FILE PHOTO)

A second journalist has died under suspicious circumstances while covering the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, The Gulf Times reported.

Khalid al-Misslam, a Qatari photojournalist for Al Kass TV, died suddenly while covering the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, according to the Times. His death came into the limelight shortly after the sudden passing of Grant Wahl, a soccer journalist covering his eighth World Cup.

The Times tweeted about the passing on December 10, expressing "We believe in Allah's mercy and forgiveness for him." Very few details about Misslam's death are available, with little-to-no information about his death covered by the local media.

His employer, Al Kass TV, only briefly mentioned the passing in their own broadcast.

The 43-year-old journalist died under unclear circumstances, although foul play is currently not suspected. It is unclear if an investigation has been opened to look into his cause of death.

Second untimely death of a journalist during the Qatar World Cup

Following the death of US sports journalist Wahl, suspicions were raised regarding the uncertain circumstances of his untimely passing.

 General view as people pose for a picture ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. (credit: REUTERS/HAMAD I MOHAMMED) General view as people pose for a picture ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. (credit: REUTERS/HAMAD I MOHAMMED)

Qatar's World Cup organizers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), paid tribute to Wahl's "enormous love of football" and offered condolences to his family, friends and media colleagues.

Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated sportswriter who moved to the Substack online publishing platform, had been tweeting about the Netherlands-Argentina match earlier on Friday.

"We believe in Allah's mercy and forgiveness for him."

The Gulf Times, via Twitter

His agent, Tim Scanlan, told Reuters that Wahl had "appeared to suffer some kind of acute distress in the start of extra time" at the quarter-final match. 

Wahl said in late November he was briefly detained when he tried to enter a World Cup stadium in Qatar while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ+ community in a country where same-sex relations are illegal.

He said World Cup security denied him entry to the United States opener against Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan and asked him to take his shirt off.

Wahl's last moments

Wahl wrote on Monday that he had visited a hospital while in Qatar.

"I didn't have COVID (I test regularly here), but I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis," he posted on Substack.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Twitter the department had been in close communication with Wahl's family.