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Messi offered $1m for iconic World Cup robe

A MILLIONAIRE from Oman has offered big money to buy from Lionel Messi the ceremonial Arab robe the Argentina captain was presented in Qatar.

Messi was draped in a bisht, a regal Arab garment reserved for warriors and royalty, as he lifted the World Cup in Doha after Argentina’s epic Qatar 2022 final victory over France at the Lusail Stadium.

The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, wore the cloak for Messi, which is a garment associated with special occasions and is viewed by those in the Arab world as a sign of appreciation and respect.

Top officials, politicians and high-status individuals are usually the ones to wear a bisht, while they are also used in the Arab world for weddings and religious festivals.

Although there was some outcry and criticism about the timing of the presentation of the cloak, there was admiration in equal measure as some saw it as an opportunity to further propagate Qatari and Arab culture.

Now, Ahmed Al Barwani, a lawyer and member of parliament in Oman, has presented Messi with an offer that he hopes will see the famous garment remain in the Middle East.

“From the Sultanate of Oman I congratulate you for winning the World Cup Qatar 2022 … the Arabic bisht, a symbol of chivalry and wisdom. I’m offering you $1 million in return for that bisht,” Al Barwani wrote on Twitter today.

Al Barwani then gave reasons why the iconic bisht won by Messi is so significant.

He told The National: “I was at the stadium watching that moment live when the Emir of Qatar gave Messi the bisht.

“This moment told the world that we are here, and this is our culture, please know it well. This tournament was a source of pride and has highlighted important facts about how we didn’t forget about Palestine and that Arabs are one and united.

“It will be displayed to commemorate that moment of pride, and to help us relive it, and to also remind us that we can [do anything].”

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