Croatian fan defies dress code rules after swipe at World Cup 'disaster'

Ivana Knoll, pictured here during Croatia's clash with Morocco at the World Cup in Qatar.
Ivana Knoll defied dress regulations at Croatia's clash with Morocco at the World Cup in Qatar. Image: Instagram

A Croatian football supporter dubbed the “World Cup’s hottest fan” has lashed out at the 'disaster' in Qatar while blatantly defying rules around what people can wear in the country. Ivana Knoll, affectionately known as the country’s “sexiest cheerleader”, took to social media this week to blast the situation in Qatar.

Knoll, who is in Qatar to support Croatia, was left furious that some of her friends hadn’t yet received their ‘Hayya’ cards - the identification documents required by all visitors attending matches at the World Cup.

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“This is a disaster!” she said on her Instagram story. “I feel sorry for all the people who can’t go to the World Cup because of the worst organisation in history.

“My entourage didn’t get a Hayya card even after 20 days, even though they have all the tickets to the final. All our friends too! It’s clear why so many people didn’t even want to participate in this circus!”

Knoll added that she had received her card, saying she felt extremely lucky to be able to watch her beloved Croatia against Morocco on Wednesday. “I obviously have, I’m so lucky to be cheering on Croatia," she said.

Knoll posted photos on Instagram of her attending Croatia's match at Al-Bayt Stadium. And her 580,000 fans couldn't help but notice she wasn't exactly following advice about what foreign fans should wear in Qatar.

Knoll wore a Croatian-flag inspired dress with a very low-cut neck line, despite warnings from officials to tone things down while in the Muslim country. A recent UK travel advisory warned citizens to be mindful of dress codes in Qatar or risk the consequences.

“You should dress modestly when in public, including while driving. Women must cover their shoulders and avoid wearing short skirts,” the advisory states. “Both men and women are advised not to wear shorts or sleeveless tops, when going to government buildings, health care facilities or malls. If you do not dress modestly, you may be asked to leave or be denied entry to these locations.”

According to the Daily Mail, the wives and girlfriends of England players were told directly not to push the boundaries with what they wear in Qatar. Officials reportedly ordered that low-cut tops and short skirts be excluded from the WAGs' wardrobes.

Morocco fans, pictured here looking on during their clash with Croatia at the World Cup.
Morocco fans look on during their clash with Croatia at the World Cup. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Spectators told to respect strict dress code in Qatar

The players' partners were apparently told they risked huge fines or even being thrown in jail should they not follow the edict. According to strict laws in Qatar, things like public displays of affection or wearing revealing clothes can be grounds for arrest.

FIFA has previously warned fans they should cover their shoulders while in public. Tops must also cover the midriff, while skirts, dresses and trousers must cover the knees.

"People can generally wear their clothing of choice," the official World Cup website states. "Visitors are expected to cover their shoulders and knees when visiting public places like museums and other government buildings.

"Swimwear is allowed at hotel beaches and pools. Fans attending matches should note that the removal of shirts in the stadium is not permitted."

Article 57 of the Qatari constitution states: "The respect of the Constitution, compliance with the laws issued by Public Authority, abiding by public order and morality, observing national traditions and established customs is a duty of all who reside in the State of Qatar or enter its territory."

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