Ramon Vega, a former Tottenham player, claims that FIFA broke their own rules by dressing Lionel Messi in a traditional Qatari robe before to the World Cup trophy presentation on Sunday night.
Argentina defeated France and won the World Cup for a third time thanks to two goals from Messi on the biggest stage of them all. This victory was the country’s first since Diego Maradona led the Albiceleste to victory in 1986.
As Argentina’s captain, Messi stood up to accept the coveted trophy after the final whistle. He was greeted by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who dressed the 35-year-old in a bisht, a traditional robe.
The attire, which is typically worn at significant occasions like weddings and is a mark of status and honor, has come under fire after it was discovered that FIFA had broken their own rules by letting Messi wear it during the trophy ceremony.
The FIFA rule prohibiting players from wearing “celebratory attire” during official activities was brought up by Vega, who occasionally captained Switzerland throughout his playing career. This suggests that Messi broke the rule when he wore the bisht before lifting the World Cup trophy with his Argentina team-mates.
Rule 27.2 states: “In FIFA final competitions, celebratory attire may only be worn on the field of play after the following official FIFA activities have taken place (during which the team must wear the shirts they wore during the match in question).
“[These include] the trophy presentation; official FIFA photographs; and official media appearances.”
After the trophy presentation, Hassan Al Thawadi, the secretary general of Qatar’s organizing committee, disclosed to BBC Sport that the gesture was made in honor of Messi and was significant since it honored Arab culture at the first World Cup ever held in the region.
Al Thawadi stated, “It is a dress for a formal occasion and worn for celebrations. “Messi was honored during this. We have the chance to introduce the globe to our Arab and Muslim cultures during the World Cup.”
“This was a regional celebration; it had nothing to do with Qatar. People from many walks of life had the opportunity to come, experience what was going on, and learn that we might not always agree on everything, but we can celebrate together.”