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The reason Lionel Messi wore Qatari ‘bisht’ before lifting the World Cup trophy!

Lionel Messi earned his first FIFA World Cup trophy on Sunday as Argentina overcame France in the top match, further solidifying his image as the ‘GOAT’. Before the International Cup in Qatar, Messi had competed in 4 World Cups, but he had never been able to win the ‘greatest trophy in world football’.  But here was his chance to shine. But before Messi could hoist the World Cup trophy, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, gave him a ceremonial garment. Many were perplexed by the hosts’ gesture, but there was a good reason behind it.

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Before Argentina team captain Messi could raise the trophy, FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, stepped on the stage for the presentation. Messi appeared content after Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani placed the robe over his shoulders. Messi is an accomplished player from Argentina.

What is a ‘Bisht’ and when is it worn?
In terms of the robe, it is a traditional ‘Bisht’ of Qatar that is worn on important occasions by the royal family, legislators, religious experts, and affluent people. According to Arab News, no garment is thought to be superior to the ‘Bisht’ to give the distinction at such major occasions. The Bisht is typically worn during momentous events in Qatar, and Messi’s first FIFA World Cup victory was undoubtedly his career high point. Additionally, the cloth is typically reserved for prominent members of society.

When asked about the ‘Bisht,’ Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of Qatar’s tournament organising committee, was cited by BBC Sport as responding, ‘It is a clothing for a formal event and worn for festivities’.  This was a Messi celebration. The World Cup gave us with the chance to introduce the rest of the world to our Arab and Muslim cultures. This was a regional celebration; it wasn’t about Qatar.

‘People from all walks of life had the opportunity to come, experience what was going on, and learn that even though we may not agree on everything, we can still rejoice together’. The ‘Bisht’ was worn by Messi, who didn’t appear to have any issues with it, but the footballing community has had a variety of emotions to the incident.

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