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The country Qatar which is part of the Arab nations subtly embarked on a huge Public Relations work during the FIFA world cup 2022 which many people may not have realized as being PR related.

On the final match of the tournament between Argentina and France, the Argentine team captained by Lionel Messi won the match on penalties and eventually won the cup.

One argument that has raged on for the past decade and a half among football fans is who is considered the “Greatest of All time” in football history between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Even after Lionel Messi lifted the world cup trophy which is considered the pinnacle of success in world football, the argument still rages on.

The emir of Qatar (Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani) haven clad Messi in the finest Arabic robe/cloak/Bisht on the presentation of the cup couldn’t even settle the debate. But it is certainly a surety that most viewers have been made aware that there is some form of Majestic robe/cloak/Bisht which is worn by the highest rank in the Arabian world.

Mustafa Baig, a lecturer in Islamic studies at the University of Exeter, told the DPA news agency that the bisht is a formal robe worn by royalty, dignitaries, grooms on their wedding day, and graduates at graduation ceremonies.

“So only a select few people would actually wear the Bisht,” he said. “They basically honored him [Messi] by putting it over his shoulders. It’s like a mark of honor, and just kind of a cultural welcoming and a cultural acceptance.” – AL JAZEERA

The Arabian Bisht worn by Lionel Messi generated a lot of controversy in the Western Media. In the face of enormous success, the footballing Western media seemed to be fixated on attaching the stench of failure on the “Arabian Bisht PR”. The footballer (Messi) and the Qatari authorities all received a measure of the criticism but it seemed most people really didn’t care much about the negativity in the Western Media.

It has now become a way of celebration (trend) for the Argentine society primarily because messi is an Argentine.

A young Argentine celebrates in an Arabian Bisht

An Elderly Argentine Celebrates birthday with an Arabian Bisht
These two individuals are generations apart but are doing the same celebration in the similar Arabian Bishts worn by Lionel Messi on his world cup final presentation day. The effectiveness of the PR job whether deliberate or not could be measured by how western and worldwide press carried the news and debated for almost about a month. It could also be measured by the recent celebrations being done by nationals of Argentina (at least that’s what I have seen for now). I’m sure as the internet carries the celebrations far and wide, most countries would adopt and begin to infuse into their celebrations With over 1.5 billion people glued to their TV sets and watching the world cup final and the icing on the cake being the Argentine captain receiving the world cup trophy donning an Arabian Bisht, the grand PR mission was accomplished and Lionel Messi certainly shook hands with paradise, pitched up in heaven and climbed into his galaxy of greatness.
Andy Pratt
Blogger, Writer, PR Consultant

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