Argentinian Footballer Lionel Messi lifting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 winning trophy in the traditional Arabic black robe, ‘Bisht’ garners mixed reviews on social media.
Emir Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani made captain of Argentina Lionel Messi a Bisht before he lifted the trophy at the final on Sunday in Qatar’s Lusail Stadium. The gesture garnered mixed responses from all over the world.
Football fans in the western world were unhappy as the black robe hid the jersey of Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi. They complained that it was another attempt to whitewash the sports with culture. FIFA President Gianni Infantino smiles as Emir Qatar draped Messi with a black robe.
The Arabic ensemble was seen and praised by people across many people as a sign of respect and honor.
— Muslim (@Muslim) December 19, 2022
The Qataris couldn’t resist trying to make Messi look like one of their own. The black robe was unnecessary. Doesn’t go with a team celebrating a cup win. Only stripes, shirtless or tattoes look good.
— Sudipto (@SudiptoDoc) December 18, 2022
The black robe – or bisht – is associated with royalty/high social status. The Emir of Qatar dressed Messi in that as a sign of respect.
But some petty western journalists seem to have made an issue out of that in one last effort to somehow undermine Qatar #ArgentinaVsFrance
— Muhammad Mutahir Ali (@MMutahirAli) December 18, 2022
“Bizarre idea to make Messi wear a black robe to lift the trophy. Ruins what should have been an iconic photo by making him look like a Harry Potter extra. Surely any player lifting the World Cup wants to do so in his country’s colors?,” wrote UK businessperson Nicola Palios in a tweet.
Why on earth would anyone cover Messi up with a black robe, that covers his iconic number 10 Argentina shirt, during his famous trophy lift photo?! Good god. FIFA are a disgrace. And qatar are right behind.
— Johnny Ward (@onestep4ward) December 18, 2022
People ranting about the black robe Messi was given need to calm their xenophobic selves down. The robe is an honour + mark of respect. Giving it to him reflects Arab hospitality. They're acting like they haven't shoved their customs, language etc down other people's throats.
— Sarah Ayoub | سارة ايوب (@bysarahayoub) December 19, 2022
“Why on earth would anyone cover Messi up with a black robe, that covers his iconic number 10 Argentina shirt, during his famous trophy lift photo?! Good god. FIFA is a disgrace. And Qatar is right behind,” wrote another user.
Many from the Arab world countered the backlash and explained the significance of the black robe Bisht in Arab culture.
Bisht is a black robe made with light material and trimming made out of real gold that is worn over a white thobe. The garment has been worn in the Arab world for centuries. It is viewed as a sign of appreciation and respect and is typically worn by top officials such as politicians, sheiks, and other high-status individuals.
Arab commentators say Messi showed cultural acceptance by wearing a black robe at the celebrations.