Lionel Messi seemed irritated when Qatar’s head of state put the slightly transparent noble robe on him. Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and FIFA President Gianni Infantino had to show the Argentine superstar how to put his hands through the sleeves of the so-called bischt.

And suddenly the jubilant pictures of the Argentines with the golden World Cup trophy no longer belonged only to the new world champions – but also to the hosts of this highly politicized finals. The organizer of the next major football event is Germany in 2024.

Loud outrage

“You take away a big moment from the player,” said former world champion Bastian Schweinsteiger on ARD. Reactions on social media ranged from loud outrage. “In a way it’s shameful that they covered Messi in his Argentinian jersey,” ex-English player Gary Lineker told the BBC. The bischt is primarily worn by important people on the national holiday in the emirate.

That’s why the last act of the Qatar finals in the Lusail Stadium, which was highly controversial in Germany in particular, wasn’t exactly surprising. Qatar made the most of the spotlight. A number of personalities from politics, business and culture sat in the grandstand. The criticism of human rights violations and working conditions for foreign workers, which Qatar rejects, was far away. After the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2021 Corona European Championship, the 2022 finals were the third football highlight in a row that provoked complicated socio-political debates.

Arab internet users surprised by criticism

In the Arab world, users on social networks have reacted with astonishment to criticism of Messi’s wearing of a traditional shirt at the World Cup awards ceremony. “When Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1970, they made defending champion Pele wear a Mexican hat,” one fan wrote on Twitter. At that time, the media would have described it as “realizing the football message”. Another user commented, “When Arabs give their guest a biscuit, it’s an honor and a token of gratitude, and it’s not really different from Pele wearing a Mexican hat in 1970.”

At the award ceremony in Mexico in June 1970, the Brazilian player Pelé wore a sombrero – a wide-brimmed hat typical of Mexico. Brazil won 4-1 against Italy at the World Cup. Photos from the time show how the football icon with the hat on his head is carried by enthusiastic fans to the trophy presentation.

EM 2024 – World Cup summer fairy tale 2006 as a role model?

In Qatar, football is understood “as a political instrument,” wrote Philipp Lahm, tournament director of the EM 2024, in his “Zeit” column before the final. Recently, it has become known “that Qatar is said to have bribed high-ranking MEPs, who in turn downplayed Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers.” The scandal in the EU Parliament received worldwide attention.

The 2024 European Championship will “take place in a democracy, in Germany. That’s where what defines Europe, namely freedom, diversity and equality before the law, must be defended. It’s also the values ​​of football,” wrote Lahm. Big words that also oblige. During the final round, German politicians signed a long-term supply agreement for liquid gas with Qatar.

The German Football Association was awarded the contract for the EM from June 14 to July 14, 2024 a good four years ago, back then in the application race with Turkey. Lahm recently told the editorial network Germany that the 2006 World Cup summer fairy tale could serve as a model. “We presented ourselves as great hosts, the weather was outstanding – everything has to be right,” said the 39-year-old. The award of the home tournament 16 years ago has long been overshadowed by allegations of bribery.

In retrospect, the show for the draw for the European Championship qualification in October in Frankfurt/Main almost seems like a fitting coincidence. Pop star Lena presented her current song “Looking for Love” – ​​a month and a half later there was a heated argument in Qatar because the world association FIFA banned the “One Love” captain’s armband from some European World Cup participants. The DFB also had to give in – the association rejected the accusation that it had not adequately defended its own values.

Bischt: Traditional garb and noble status symbol in the Gulf

A bischt is a traditional cloak worn by men in the Gulf States and Iran for centuries on special occasions and celebrations. Today it is considered a status symbol. Above all, high-ranking politicians and scholars wear the light robe with gold or silver borders. The capes are available in different colors such as black, beige or grey.

Originally, the bischt is a Bedouin garment that provides good protection against the heat and cold of the desert. Even today, tailors in the region still sew the finest capes by hand and with great sophistication. The prestigious wool or linen cover is very comfortable.