The Instagram model Ivana Knöll was born on 16th September 1992, in Frankfurt, Germany, of Croatian descent. The former Miss Croatia went viral in 2022 for her risqué outfits at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which propelled her from under a million followers on Instagram to over three million.
Although Ivana already had a dedicated fanbase at the time, her eye-catching red-and-white checkered outfits stole the show on several occasions, as she attended every match that her country played in; a video of the model eating sushi after Croatia defeated Japan in December 2022 was also viewed by millions.
As Qatar is known for being a modest country in which women must dress and behave conservatively, many people considered Ivana’s outfits a deliberate snub, while others believed that the model was making a bold political statement. The truth, however, is that most of Ivana’s red-and-white fits were sold by her clothing brand, Wear Knoll Doll, and her viral snaps were a brilliant marketing campaign which attracted hundreds of new clients.
Ivana’s online fame has led to her meeting famous faces, such as Latin pop singer Maluma, with whom she posted a selfie at the F1 Miami Grand Pix in May 2023. The brunette is a constant presence at many high-profile events, be it a basketball match at the Kaseya Center, or the Louis Vuitton show at Paris Fashion Week.
Ivana also modeled for a Philip Plein private fashion show in 2023, and hinted at an unexpected career change when she posted a photo of herself in a Miami recording studio, alongside the Grammy-winning producer Scott Torch, who has worked with the likes of Ariana Grande and Snoop Dogg.
Traveling is one of Ivana’s greatest passions: a quick look at her Instagram profile reveals a gallery of images taken in Mykonos, Ibiza, Baku, and other sunny locations. The former beauty pageant winner also loves to visit Dubai, which is one of her favorite holiday spots. Due to the flexible nature of her job as a brand ambassador and business owner, Ivana enjoys vacationing as often as possible, with friends or alone.
In a rare interview with TMZ Sports in March 2023, Ivana discussed her future aspirations, and addressed the rumors that she would be joining OnlyFans. According to the brunette, she had no idea that Qatar was such a conservative country prior to traveling there for the FIFA World Cup.
‘I was thinking everything’s fine and normal, and then just before the World Cup I saw many, many articles about the restrictions,’ she explained. As her friends were unable to attend the sports event, Ivana traveled from Miami to Qatar alone, and learned from a taxi driver that the clothing restrictions wouldn’t apply to her, as she was in the country for work reasons.
Ivana also revealed that she initially planned on finishing her college studies in Croatia, instead of taking her modeling career to the next level. Somewhere along the way, she changed her mind and obtained a three-year work visa to stay in the US – the brunette currently lives in Los Angeles, and boasts plenty of celebrity connections, with friends such as A-listers Jaime Foxx and Drake.
After going viral at the World Cup, many netizens suggested that Ivana launch an OnlyFans to share adult content with paying subscribers. However, she has no intention of doing so anytime soon, saying that money isn’t everything – although she respects those who do go down the OnlyFans route. ‘More power to them… I don’t touch it, I’m not that kind of person,’ she stated, adding that she respects her reputation and image too much.
According to online sources, Ivana’s body measurements are 35-25-37, and is 5ft 11ins (180cms) tall. In July 2023, she was spotted partying in Greece with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, while he was doing a DJ set in Mykonos. The unlikely duo set tongues wagging when Ivana uploaded a braless selfie with the athlete; however, the relationship between the pair is strictly a cordial one, and Ivana has so far managed to keep her dating life totally private.
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Qatar World Cup Controversy
Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup was a topic of public controversy due to the country’s alleged human rights violations and the mysterious deaths of allegedly thousands of migrant workers; Western media also lambasted the country’s attitude towards LGBTQ and women’s rights, and FIFA ambassadors such as David Beckham were criticized for not speaking up.
During the tournament, Qatar refused to display the “OneLove” slogan, and was slammed for its misogynistic beliefs. The country’s outdated male guardianship law means that women are unable to win custody of their children in case of divorce, and must ask for authorization from a male relative when it comes to making basic decisions.
Many will also recall that just 48 hours before the World Cup kicked off, Qatar shocked millions by announcing that it would be banning the sale of alcoholic beer at the games. Although Arab and Muslim audiences considered that the country was merely representing a commitment to its cultural values and religious beliefs, the decision was met by backlash from attendees and media outlets.
In February 2021, an analysis conducted by Guardian newspaper found that over 6,500 migrant workers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and India had died in Qatar since it was declared the host country in 2010. Official figures claimed that the number was as low as 40, with 37 deaths reportedly being non-work related.
Although many felt that the official number was a vast undercount, it was difficult to associate a concrete figure with the tournament, and assess how many deaths were preventable. Most migrant workers are believed to have died of heat-related ailments and accidents, although suicide was also a concern, due to their cramped living conditions and alleged inhumane work hours.
In 2021, Amnesty International released a report accusing Qatar of issuing death certificates for migrant workers without conducting adequate investigations beforehand. Most of the deaths were attributed to cardiac failures or natural causes, which made it impossible for the bereaved families to claim compensation. Overall, the sports tournament was overshadowed by protests and backlash both inside and outside the country.