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Did Emir of Qatar photo-bomb Messi's greatest moment by draping black robe? War of words rages on

A black robe, popularly known as Bisht, was draped on Lionel Messi by the Emir of Qatar after Argentina beat France on penalties to clinch the FIFA World Cup 2022, sparking massive debate across social media platforms.

football argentina win world cup 2022 Did Emir of Qatar photo-bomb Messi's greatest moment by draping black robe war of words snt
First Published Dec 19, 2022, 6:12 PM IST

Sunday night belonged to Argentina and Lionel Messi. The 35-year-old legend finally won his maiden World Cup glory after the South American giants defeated France 4-2 on penalties to clinch the Qatar 2022 trophy. And one of the large-scale grandeur celebrations stood out as a moment that has sparked a widespread debate on social media platforms.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, draped an intriguing black robe around Messi at the World Cup 2022 presentation to wear it for the moment he lifted the coveted trophy along with his Argentina teammates. While Messi fans revelled in the greatest moment of his illustrious career, there were a few who were left wondering what the black robe is called, what its significance is and why it was draped on the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star just before lifting the trophy on the podium.

Also read: World champion Messi sends heartwarming message to Argentina fans after lifting Qatar 2022 trophy

Due to significant worries over LGBTQ+ rights in the Gulf state and the safety of migrant workers engaged in the stadium construction, there has been considerable debate surrounding Qatar's selection to host this World Cup.

When Messi finally won the coveted trophy on Sunday, football finally took centre stage, but Qatar couldn't help but try one last time at what Argentina fans argue to be peak sports washing at the competition's pinnacle moment.

The black robe is called 'Bisht' and is worn by warriors after victory, so some believe that the gesture by the Qatari Emir was a complimentary gesture to the legendary forward Messi. The robe is also worn by the royal family. 

football argentina win world cup 2022 Did Emir of Qatar photo-bomb Messi's greatest moment by draping black robe war of words snt

Tallie Dar wrote on Twitter, "King of Qatar honoured Messi as a sign of respect. Signifying Messi as a warrior who won for his country Argentina."

"Messi is being honoured as royalty in his Argentinian shirt, as the King of Football. It's poetic. I don't expect haters to understand because small minds will never get to king-level," he added.

Meanwhile, Gary Lineker took a jibe at FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who was present at the moment Messi was being draped by the black Qatari robe. "Amazing scenes, great pictures from above and great pictures from inside the ground as Argentina win the World Cup for the third time. It seems a shame, in a way, that they've covered up Messi in his Argentina shirt," he said.

Alan Shearer joked, stating, "I didn't think Infantino was going to let him go either," before Lineker added: "Nobody marked him that tightly during the game!"

Also read: 'Picture perfect': Aguero carrying Messi during Argentina's World Cup 2022 victory celebration wins hearts

After getting off the podium, Messi took the robe off soon before someone added a third star to his Argentina shirt to mark their third World Cup triumph.

The moment has sparked a massive debate on social media platforms, with some Messi fans stating that the Qatar Emir photobombed the Argentinian icon's greatest moment of his career. Meanwhile, there were also a few who stated that unnecessary drama was being created for something that was a gesture of honour.

"Making Messi wear that robe is absolutely grim. Sums up everything wrong with this World Cup," noted Will Martin on Twitter.

Meanwhile, another user noted, "Qatar's Emir gave Messi the same robe that he is wearing. It is a royal gift, clearly made of gold and some exquisite sheer material that requires expert craftsmanship. It is the highest honour that the country could bestow after the final. Why is the world losing its mind?"

Also read: Argentina win Qatar 2022: How the Messi vs Mbappe battle treated fans to G.O.A.T World Cup final

Here's a look at some of the reactions of users on the micro-blogging site:

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