Qatar World Cup: Messi's Bisht Arab robe draws 'racist' controversy


20 December, 2022

Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, offered a bisht - a traditional cloak the royal was also wearing at the time - to Messi after Argentina’s historic win against France following a tense penalty shoot-out.

The bisht is a cloak made of light material with trimmings sometimes made of real gold, and is often worn by top officials and high-status individuals, or on special occasions.

The offering of the gown to Messi appeared to symbolise appreciation and respect for his footballing achievements.

But several media outlets and sports pundits were quick to mock the garment, accusing the Qatari Emir of disrespecting Messi by "covering" his Argentina jersey.

The Telegraph in the UK even deemed the gesture a "bizarre act that ruined the greatest moment in World Cup history".

🎥: Reem Khabbazy