Messi offered $1m for World Cup bisht by Omani lawyer

Ahmed Al Barwani says he is open to negotiation and will put the garment on display

Ahmed Al Barwani, 41, is open to paying more if the player wants to haggle
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A lawyer and member of Oman's parliament has offered Argentinian football star Lionel Messi $1 million for the now famous bisht he wore to lift the World Cup trophy on Sunday.

Ahmed Al Barwani, 41, made the genuine offer in a Twitter post on Tuesday, and has told The National he is open to paying more if the player wants to negotiate.

“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,” Mr Al Barwani, from Muscat, said in his Tweet.

After beating France on penalties and winning the World Cup, Messi was given the bisht by Sheikh Tamim, the Emir of Qatar.

“I was at the stadium watching that moment live when the Emir of Qatar gave Messi the bisht,” said Mr Al Barwani. “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.”

The bisht is a long cloak traditionally worn over a thobe or kandura at special occasions or celebrations in Middle Eastern countries.

“It's a symbol of many things including wisdom, bravery, integrity, generosity and authenticity and, most important, it tells who we are,” he said.

Mr Al Barwani said this World Cup had meant so much for Arab nations.

“It encouraged us to look at ourselves differently and realise that we can make achievements, just like Morocco did,” he added.

If Mr Al Barwani succeeds in his deal with Messi, the bisht will not be worn. He said it was to serve as a reminder of what is possible in life.

“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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Updated: December 23, 2022, 11:32 AM