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US sports reporter dies suddenly while covering World Cup

A US sports reporter has died after collapsing suddenly at the World Cup. Grant Wahl, 48, fell to the ground as extra time began in the Argentina-Netherlands game on Friday night.Qatar’s World Cup organizers said on Saturday that Wahl “fell ill” in the press area, where he received “immediate medical treatment on site.”Early reports suggest he may have had a heart attack, but this has yet to be officially confirmed.Wahl was briefly detained by authorities in Qatar for wearing a rainbow shirt, in solidarity with the LGBT+ community earlier in the month. Homosexuality is criminalised in Qatar. Tributes have poured in for the veteran sports correspondent, who wrote a book on David Beckham, a British footballer. US Soccer said it was "heartbroken to learn" of Wahl's death. It praised Wahl’s “belief in the power of the game to advance human rights,” offering condolences to his wife Celine Gounder and their loved ones.Gounder responded to the US Soccer statement on Twitter, saying she was "in complete shock".Wahl wrote to subscribers of his internet newsletter that he had visited a clinic in Qatar earlier in the week. "My body is finally giving up on me," he wrote.

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How a Pro-LGBTQ+ Rights Armband Became World Cup Drama in Qatar
(CNN) -- FIFA President Gianni Infantino pleaded with countries to let football take center stage ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, but it hasn't quite worked out like that.Soccer's global governing body has found itself at loggerheads with seven European nations over the threat of sanctions for any player wearing a "OneLove" armband during games.The eleventh-hour announcement from FIFA has created a rift between soccer's governing body and the seven nations involved, although neither side has emerged free from criticism.The "OneLove" armband -- which features the outline of a heart striped in different colors -- was intended to be worn by captains from England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and Wales at the World Cup to promote inclusion and display solidarity with people of different genders and sexual identities.But hours before England captain Harry Kane was scheduled to wear the armband against Iran on Monday, FIFA said any player wearing the armbands would receive a yellow card, putting them in danger of being sent off or banned from a later game in the tournament.FIFA regulations state that team captains must wear armbands provided by the governing body, even though it said it "supports all legitimate causes, such as 'OneLove.'"However, the debacle has rumbled on as a sideshow to the tournament itself.If players like Kane didn't wear the armband, Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Hadja Lahbib did as she talked to Infantino at the World Cup game between Belgium and Canada on Wednesday.German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser also wore the armband with Infantino sitting close by during her country's 2-1 defeat against Japan."It's quite scary for LGBTQ+ communities around the world to see our
Qatar: All you need to know about the country before the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Qatar: Rise to Power and Influence, claims “there was not any real push [by Qatar's leaders] for the British to leave …[who] appreciated their military protection”.Large numbers of protests by the public against the British and the ruling family took place before independence.Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani personally appoints ministers – usually family members – and one-third of the Shura Council, a law-making council, though the others are elected.Although a lot of consulting goes on behind closed doors, power is largely in the hands of the Emir, who ultimately controls political decisions, law-making and the judiciary.Political parties are banned.“The problem [in Qatar],” says Rothna Begum, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, “is that their laws limit freedom of expression, association and assembling … making it really difficult for anyone who wants to do work on women's rights or anything like that.”This leaves politics to play out on Twitter, where progressive voices, such as the LGBTQ+ community or women's rights are subjected to online abuse and death threats, she says.Freedom House, an NGO monitoring political rights and civil liberties, ranks Qatar as “not free”.Qatar is the third richest country in the world, measured by GDP per capita.Much of this is due to its vast oil and gas reserves, which are also the third largest in the world.A large exporter of Liquified Natural Gas, Fromherz says fallout from the Ukraine war has strengthened Qatar’s economic hand by causing energy prices to spike.“Along with the United States, Qatar is one of the major suppliers and alternatives to Russia,” he told Euronews.