Grinning Qatari fans were taking of photos of Miss Croatia Ivana Knoll at the World Cup because they disapproved of her outfit, a high-profile local has claimed.
During Croatia’s opening match with Morocco the model, labelled the World Cup’s sexiest fan, appeared in a red and white bikini top and tight red leggings – catching the eye of many within the crowd.
A photo posted after the match showed smiling men in the stadium taking pictures of the 30-year-old model.
Mohammed Hassan Al-Jefairi, a prominent Qatari entrepreneur who created a robot, claimed the men had been snapping away because they disapproved of her outfit.
Grinning Qatari fans were spotted taking photos of Miss Croatia, Ivana Knoll, 30, during Croatia’s opening match with Morocco but a high-profile entrepreneur has claimed the smiling men were snapping away in disapproval
In her most recent Instagram post to celebrate gaining one million followers, she included a photo of a couple of men catching a quick peek of her in a red and white checked bikini top and tight red leggings and taking photos
Taking to Twitter last night he wrote in response to the picture: ‘Just for your info they take a photo not because they like her but because they don’t like the way she is mis-dressed on regards to our culture.
‘You can confirm this with any local Qatari Probably to report it.’
Those visiting Qatar for the World Cup have been advised to cover their shoulders and avoid short skirts, with high fines and even jail sentences for fans who decide to flash their figures.
People on Twitter, however, were not convinced with Mr Al-Jefairi’s defence of the men caught on camera.
One wrote: ‘No offence meant, sir, but your justification is funny. Their facial expressions, body language and how they hold the phone all give away their intentions rather clearly.
Mohammed Hassan Al-Jefairi (pictured) a prominent Qatari entrepreneur who has created a robot, claimed the men had been snapping away at Knoll because they disapproved of her outfit
Taking to Twitter last night he wrote in response to the picture: ‘Just for your info they take a photo not because they like her but because they don’t like the way she is miss -dressed on regards to our culture. You can confirm this with any local Qatari Probably to report it’
‘You’ve got to admit that Qatari men are no infallible, saying this as a Qatari by the way.’
Knoll had shared the image on her Instagram to celebrate gaining one million and her fans were quick to point out the men’s actions in the photos.
One wrote: ‘That’s it, the guy is caught. The wife is waiting at home with a hammer!’
Another added: ‘Full support for Croatia’.
While on the whole most were complimentary about her post, some pointed out the outfit did not fit with Qatar’s customers and broke the country’s strict rules on clothing for the World Cup.
Commenting on the potential culture clash, Knoll said: ‘First I was thinking if the World Cup is happening there (Qatar), for sure they will allow us everything to make it comfortable for all fans without any of the restrictions.
‘Then I heard about the rules, and I was shocked. The dress code forbids showing shoulders, knees, belly and everything and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t even have the clothes to cover all of that.’
‘I was super angry because if I’m not a Muslim and if we in Europe respect hijab and niqab, I think they need also to respect our way of life, our religion and in the end me wearing dresses, bikinis because I’m Catholic from Croatia who is here because of the World Cup.’
Speaking on the potential culture clash over dress-codes, Knoll said she was ‘shocked’ by the rules. She added: ‘But when I arrived, I was surprised they were not making any problems about dressing, they allow you to wear everything what you want – except in government buildings, and in the end that’s fine’
Several of Knoll’s posts last week also tagged FIFA – which has reiterated Qatar’s strict rules regarding clothing.
She added: ‘But when I arrived, I was surprised they were not making any problems about dressing, they allow you to wear everything what you want – except in government buildings, and in the end that’s fine.’
When asked if she felt that there was any risk of her being arrested, Knoll said: ‘I am never afraid of something like that.’
It is not the first time Knoll has come under fire for her choice of outfits.
In 2018 during the World Cup in Russia the model hit the headlines again for her clothing.
Croatia is set to play Japan on Monday, kicking off at 3pm GMT, as the country battles it out in the last 16.