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Croatian model flouts Muslim Qatar's draconian dress code rules by wearing series of daring outfits

Croatian football fan Ivana Knoll stands on the pitch before her country's opening match against Morocco on November 27, 2022 at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar

A Croatian fan and model has insisted she feels comfortable wearing her daring World Cup outfits without fear of being arrested in Qatar, despite the conservative country’s strict modesty rules.

Ivana Knoll said she was initially “super angry” after reading about dress code restrictions for the Gulf state, with male and female visitors being asked to “dress modestly” in public.

But the 26-year-old said the authorities “have no problem with her”, with her more than 700,000 Instagram followers receiving updates of her many outfit choices during the tournament.

Ms Knoll wore a red and white checked maxi dress with a hood for Croatia’s opener against Morocco.

Croatian football fan Ivana Knoll stands on the pitch before her country's opening match against Morocco on November 27, 2022 at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar

Croatian football fan Ivana Knoll stands on the pitch before her country’s opening match against Morocco on November 27, 2022 at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar

Croatian 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

Croatian 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 ahead of the FIFA World Cup Group F match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar on November 27, 2022. PA Photo.  See PA story WORLD CUP Croatia.  Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions.  Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior permission of the rights holder.

Ivana Knoll is seen in the stands ahead of the FIFA World Cup Group F match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar on November 27, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story WORLD CUP Croatia. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior permission of the rights holder.

Her social media posts during the trip also showed her wearing swimsuits and bikinis, with both positive and critical comments from users.

Ms Knoll said what she was doing was not harming others, however, saying: ‘And I think my dress or my bikini can hurt someone?’ Please explain this 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 supporters before the game.

The British Foreign Office has advised visitors to Qatar that women should cover their shoulders and avoid wearing short skirts.

Influencer Ms Knoll, speaking to the AP News Agency outside the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, said: “I was thinking first if the World Cup is over there (Qatar), for sure they will allow us everything to make it comfortable for all fans without any restrictions.

“Then I heard about the rules and was shocked. The dress code forbids showing shoulders, knees, stomach and all and I was like ‘Oh my God, I don’t even have the clothes to cover all this’.

‘I was super angry because if I’m not a Muslim and if we in Europe respect the hijab and the niqab, I think they have to respect our way of life, our religion too and in the end I wear dresses , bikinis because I am a Catholic from Croatia who is here because of the World Cup.

“But when I arrived I was surprised that they don’t have any problem getting dressed, they let you wear whatever you want – except in government buildings, and finally it’s fine.”

Asked if she felt there was a risk of being arrested for her outfits, Ms Knoll replied: “I’m never afraid of anything like that.”

A fan of 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

A fan of 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

Ms Knoll (pictured) posted pictures of herself on a beach in a revealing thong swimsuit days before the World Cup, along with the comment ‘How I will dress in Qatar’

Ms Knoll appears at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in a patriotic outfit supporting her native Croatia

Ms Knoll appears at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in a patriotic outfit supporting her native Croatia

Ahead of the World Cup, however, Qatari authorities warned that violators of its strict dress code could even be prosecuted in the ultra-conservative country.

“Visitors (both male and female) should show respect for the local culture by avoiding excessive revealing of their clothing in public,” the Qatar tourism authority warned ahead of the World Cup.

“It’s generally recommended that men and women make sure their shoulders and knees are covered.”

On Wednesday, several posts from Knoll even tagged FIFA, which reiterated Qatar’s strict clothing rules

While Knoll’s first World Cup outfit revealed his chest, it covered at least the majority of his body, including a hood.

The latest swimsuit outfit from his patriotic wardrobe comes much closer to the lines of modesty Qatar officials outlined ahead of the start of the World Cup.

“Hello police Qatar,” one user posted to a video of Ms Knoll parading along a Doha waterfront in a skin-tight swimsuit.

‘Respect the country and our religion wtf?’ asked another.

Despite online criticism, the influencer, who splits her time between Croatia and the United States, said she received positive responses on the ground in Doha.

“The reactions are very good,” she said.

“A lot of Qataris came to see me to photograph me.

“If they hate it and they have something against it, they wouldn’t do it. I think it’s just another way of life, me and them.

Knoll's outfit leaves little to the imagination

She walked proudly with the Qatar skyline as a backdrop

Ms Knollis seen strolling along a Doha waterfront in a video posted to her Instagram account

Ms Knoll said she was used to people asking for photos, noting that during the 2018 World Cup in Russia she received a lot of attention and went “viral” online.

Asked about Croatia’s chances in 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.

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