FIFA were guilty of breaking their own regulations by draping Lionel Messi in a traditional Qatari robe before the World Cup trophy presentation on Sunday night, according to former Tottenham star Ramon Vega.
Messi scored twice in a spellbinding performance on the biggest stage of them all to help Argentina down France and win the World Cup for a third time, with their latest triumph marking their first since Diego Maradona led the Albiceleste to victory in 1986.
Messi stepped up after the full-time whistle to lift the iconic trophy in his role as Argentina captain and was greeted by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who dressed the 35-year-old in a traditional robe known as a bisht.
The garment is usually worn at major events such as weddings and is a symbol of prestige and honour, although it has since been pointed out that FIFA broke their own rules by allowing Messi to wear it for the trophy presentation.
Vega, who captained Switzerland at times throughout his own playing career, took to Twitter to highlight the FIFA regulation that prevents players from wearing ‘celebratory attire’ during official activities, which suggests that Messi was in breach of the rule when he donned the bisht before lifting the World Cup trophy with his Argentina team-mates.
Rule 27.2 states: “In FIFA final competitions, celebratory attire may only be worn on the field of play after the following official FIFA activities have taken place (during which the team must wear the shirts they wore during the match in question).