A Croatian fan and model has insisted she feels comfortable wearing her daring World Cup outfits without fear of arrest in Qatar, despite the conservative country’s strict modesty rules.
Ivana Knoll said she was initially “super upset” after reading the dress code restrictions for the Gulf state, with both male and female visitors being advised to “dress modestly” in public.
But the 26-year-old said the authorities “don’t give her any trouble” as her more than 700,000 Instagram followers receive updates on her many outfit choices during the tournament.
Ms. Knoll wore a long red and white checkered dress with a hood for Croatia’s opening match against Morocco.
Croatian soccer fan Ivana Knoll stands pitchside before her country’s opening match against Morocco on November 27, 2022 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Croatia fan and Instagram influencer Ivana Knoll poses on the beach in a bikini in an image posted during her trip to Qatar to support her team at the World Cup.
Ivana Knoll is seen in the stands before the FIFA World Cup Group F match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar on November 27, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story WORLDCUP Croatia. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without the prior consent of the rights holder.
Her social media posts during the trip have also shown her wearing swimsuits and bikinis, with supportive comments and criticism from users.
Ms Knoll said that what she was doing was not hurting others, however she said: ‘And I think my dress or my bikini can hurt someone? Please explain that to me.
Ms. Knoll attended her country’s second game with Canada in a much shorter red and white checkered dress and posed for selfies with fans before the game.
The UK Foreign Office has advised visitors to Qatar that women are expected to cover their shoulders and avoid wearing short skirts.
The influential Ms Knoll, speaking to the PA news agency outside the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, said: “First I was thinking if the World Cup will take place 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 prohibits showing shoulders, knees, tummy and everything and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t even have the clothes to cover all of that.’
“I was very angry because if I am not a Muslim and if in Europe we respect the hijab and the niqab, I think they should also respect our way of life, our religion and, in the end, I wear dresses, bikinis because I am a Catholic from Croatia who is here. for the World Cup.
“But when I arrived I was surprised that they had no problem with dressing, they allow you to wear anything you want, except in government buildings, and in the end it’s fine.”
Asked if she had felt there was any risk of being arrested for her outfits, Ms Knoll replied: “I’m never afraid of anything like that.”
A fan from Canada takes a selfie with former Miss Croatia Ivana Knoll during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Croatia and Canada at Khalifa International Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Doha, Qatar
Ms Knoll (pictured) posted photos of herself on a beach in a revealing thong swimsuit days before the World Cup, along with the comment: “How will I dress in Qatar.”
Ms. Knoll appears at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in patriotic attire supporting her native Croatia.
However, ahead of the World Cup, Qatari authorities warned that violators of its strict dress code could even face prosecution in the ultra-conservative nation.
“Visitors (both male and female) are expected to show respect for local culture by avoiding excessively revealing clothing in public,” Qatar’s tourism authority warned ahead of the World Cup.
“In general, it is recommended that men and women make sure that their shoulders and knees are covered.”
Several of Knoll’s posts on Wednesday even tagged FIFA, which has reiterated Qatar’s strict rules regarding clothing.
While Knoll’s first World Cup outfit revealed her chest, it at least covered most of her body, including a hood.
The latest swimsuit in her patriotic wardrobe is much closer to the lines of modesty that Qatari officials outlined before the start of the World Cup.
“Hello Qatar Police,” one user posted on a video of Ms Knoll parading along a Doha seafront in a tight-fitting swimsuit.
‘Respect the country and our religion wtf?’ asked another.
Despite the criticism online, the influencer, who splits her time between Croatia and the United States, said she has been receiving positive responses on the ground in Doha.
“The reactions are very good,” he said.
“Many of the Qataris came to me to photograph me.
If they hate it and have something against it, they wouldn’t do it. I think it’s just another way of life, me and them.
Ms Knollis is seen strolling along a Doha promenade in a video posted to her Instagram account.
Ms Knoll said she was used to people asking her for pictures, noting that at the 2018 World Cup in Russia she received a lot of attention and went ‘viral’ online.
When asked about Croatia’s chances at the 2022 tournament, Ms Knoll said: “At least I want what France took from us in Russia, at least that, nothing less.”
France beat Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final in Russia.