Memorial to American writer Grant Wahl placed at World Cup game

A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl is seen on his previously assigned seat at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Graham Dunbar)

A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl is seen on his previously assigned seat at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Graham Dunbar)

American soccer writer Grant Wahl was honored with a tribute from FIFA on the desk where he was due to work Saturday at the World Cup quarterfinal match between France and England.

posy of white lilies and a framed photograph of Wahl taken in Qatar was left at the media seat that had been assigned to the 49-year-old journalist who died at the World Cup in the early hours of Saturday.

“Tonight we pay tribute to Grant Wahl at his assigned seat in Al Bayt Stadium. He should have been here,” FIFA said in a statement. “Our thoughts remain with his wife Céline, his family, and his friends at this most difficult time.”

About 20 minutes before the match started, the photograph of Wahl was displayed on big screens in two corners of the stadium. An announcement about his death was made to fans who applauded him.

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A tribute to journalist Grant Wahl is show on a screen before the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Wahl fell ill while working during extra time of the Argentina-Netherlands game on Friday at Lusail Stadium. He was treated by medical staff in the media tribune and later taken by ambulance to the hospital.

He was reporting at his eighth World Cup.

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