Reaction to Lionel Messi carrying a bisht whereas lifting the World Cup trophy exhibits cultural fault traces of Qatar 2022


After 28 days, 64 video games and 172 objectives at Qatar 2022, Lionel Messi walked up on the rostrum at Lusail Stadium to lastly get his palms on the World Cup trophy that had eluded him all through his profession.

Earlier than becoming a member of his teammates, who have been ready for his or her captain in a hive of pleasure on a close-by stage, Messi first shook palms with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Tamim then positioned a black and gold bisht – a standard merchandise of clothes worn within the area for particular occasions and celebrations – on the Argentina captain earlier than the 35-year-old was handed the trophy.

In his new apparel, which coated his nationwide pale blue and white jersey, Messi danced in the direction of his teammates earlier than lifting the trophy above his head.

It was, for some, the proper ending to a match that has been considered by many as the most effective World Cup ever.

Nevertheless, for others, it ruined the second.

“Seems a shame in a way that they’ve covered up Messi in his Argentina shirt,” mentioned former England worldwide and presenter Gary Lineker on BBC’s stay protection of the ultimate.

To others, it was one final try for Qatar to stamp its mark on the match – a criticism of the “sportswashing” (the place critics accused Qatar of utilizing the event to paper over its human rights file) that has underpinned a lot of the protection of the match.

“Something a little strange about Messi being dressed in Bisht, that black cloak that the emir of Qatar dressed him in before lifting the World Cup,” New York Instances journalist Tariq Panja tweeted.

“Qatar wants this to be its moment as much as it is Messi’s and Argentina’s.”

There was extra criticism from different media, with British newspaper The Telegraph initially writing the headline “The bizarre act that ruined the greatest moment in World Cup history” in reference to Messi carrying the bisht.

It later modified the headline of the story to “Lionel Messi made to wear traditional Arab bisht for World Cup trophy lift.”

Messi didn’t put on the merchandise of clothes for lengthy, taking it off shortly after the trophy presentation and celebrating along with his teammates in Argentina’s distinctive jersey.

Amid the criticism, Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary Normal of the Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Supply & Legacy (SC), a corporation charged with organizing the World Cup, tried to clarify the explanations behind the bisht.

“It is a dress for an official occasion and worn for celebrations. This was a celebration of Messi,” Al Thawadi advised BBC Sport.

“The World Cup had the chance to showcase to the world our Arab and Muslim tradition. This was not about Qatar, it was a regional celebration.

“People from different walks of life were able to come, experience what was happening here and get to understand that we may not see eye to eye on everything, but we can still celebrate together.”

Others on social media have been outraged by the criticism of the bisht, saying it was steeped in ignorance and misunderstanding of Qatar’s tradition.

It was one other instance, they mentioned, of the fixed criticism the nation has acquired since successful the proper to host the match.

“Some are mad because Messi wore a bisht (it was gifted to him; a symbol of appreciation and respect in the Arab culture),” author and columnist Reem Al-Harmi tweeted.

“Nevertheless, I didn’t see the identical stage of anger and outrage when racism, Islamophobia, and orientalism was consistently used in opposition to the World Cup in Qatar.

“As an alternative of preconceived notions & judgmental views, turning this stunning and significant photograph into one thing that’s not, learn concerning the Arab bisht; its significance, and why/when it’s worn.

“Gifting someone a bisht, shows how significant/respectful they are, that’s Messi today.”

CNN reached out to FIFA for remark concerning the choice to make use of the bisht within the presentation ceremony.

Messi has not publicly commented on the bisht.