A member of Oman's parliament named Ahmed Al Barwani has offered Argentine star Lionel Messi $1 million in exchange for the Arabic black robe or 'bisht' he wore as a mark of honour while lifting the World Cup for the first time in 36 years. Messi received the Golden Ball award at the just-concluded FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Lionel Messi was prominently photographed wearing a 'bisht,' a traditional cloak presented to the Argentina icon by the emir before he lifted the World Cup trophy.
Al Barwani tweeted, “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.”
The bisht is a traditional long, hand-woven garment made of goat and camel hair. Its fibers were designed for the arid desert's extremely cold and heat.
If the player wants to negotiate, Barwani told The National that he is "open to paying more". Al Barwani stated, "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.”
According to Al Barwani, the World Cup had great significance for Arab countries, and the 'bisht' is a symbol of sagacity, fortitude, honesty, generosity, and authenticity.
Although the development of the sewing machine made it possible to produce these cloaks in large quantities, royalty, dignitaries, and sheikhs only don handmade, woven, and trimmed 'bisht'.
If Messi accepts the offer, the shirt will not be worn, the Omani official told The National, adding that it will remind people of all that is possible in life.
According to him, "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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