Omani offers to buy bisht Messi wore at World Cup win for $1 million

Omani offers to buy bisht Messi wore at World Cup win for $1 million
An Omani official has tried reaching out to Argentinian football legend Lionel Messi to buy the Arab cloak he wore after his historic win last week.
2 min read
21 December, 2022
The bisht is a sign of honour in parts of the Arab world. The incident criticism from some Western media [Getty]

An Omani national has offered Argentina captain Lionel Messi $1 million to buy the Arab cloak, known as a bisht presented to the player by Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani following his team's 2022 FIFA World Cup victory on Sunday.

"My friend Messi.. from the Sultanate of Oman, I congratulate you on your victory in the Qatar World Cup 2022," Ahmed Al-Barwani, a member of the Omani Shura Council, wrote on Twitter.

"Emir Tamim impressed me as he dressed you with the Arab bisht, a symbol of magnanimity and wisdom. Messi, I offer you one million dollars in exchange for giving me that bisht."

After beating France 4-2 on penalties, Messi was offered the bisht by the Qatari emir.

The cloak, which the royal was also wearing at the time, was given as a mark of appreciation and respect of Messi's football achievements - the first World Cup he had won in his career.

The bisht is commonly worn throughout the region at weddings and other important ceremonies. 

Messi joined his teammates on stage to raise the World Cup trophy and celebrate their historic win whilst donning the cloak.

It drew negative commentary from some Western media outlets claiming it was disrespectful to cover Messi's Argentina shirt during the most important moment of his career, although many observers labelled the criticism as misinformed and even "racist".

Some Argentinian fans began wearing the bisht to commemorate the moment, as images and videos on social media showed supporters buying the cloaks from shops in Qatar likely to return home with them to South America.