Model Ivana Knoll insists she does not fear arrest over daring World Cup outfits

A Croatia supporter and model has insisted she feels comfortable to wear her daring World Cup outfits without fear of arrest in Qatar.

Ivana Knoll said she was initially “super angry” after reading the dress code restrictions for the Gulf state, with visitors advised to “dress modestly” in public.

But the 26-year-old said the authorities are “not making any problems” for her, with her more than 700,000 Instagram followers receiving updates of her numerous outfit choices during the tournament.

Ms Knoll wore a full-length red and white checked dress with a hood for Croatia’s opening game against Morocco.

Her social media posts during the trip have also shown her wearing swimsuits and bikinis.

Ms Knoll attended her country’s second fixture with Canada in a much shorter red and white checked dress and posed for selfies with supporters ahead of the game.

The UK Foreign Office advised visitors to Qatar that women are expected to cover their shoulders and avoid wearing short skirts.

Influencer Ms Knoll, speaking to the PA news agency outside the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, 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.

“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.”

Asked if she had felt there was any risk of being arrested for her outfits, Ms Knoll replied: “I am never afraid of something like that.”

Ms Knoll said what she was doing was not hurting others, adding: “And I think how my dress or bikini can hurt someone? Please explain me that.”

Croatia v Canada – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group F – Khalifa International Stadium
Croatia fan and model Ivana Knoll, who has been pushing the modesty dress code of Qatar and causing a stir online, in the stands at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha (Adam Davy/PA)

Ms Knoll, who splits her time between Croatia and the United States, went on: “The reactions are very good. Many of the Qatari people came to 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.”

Ms Knoll said she was used to people asking for photographs, noting at 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.