Ex-Miss Croatia takes selfie with adoring Japan fans before World Cup clash

Former Miss Croatia Ivana Knoll took selfies with Japan fans before the World Cup round of 16 tie between the two nations.

The German-born supermodel has caught the eye with her racy outfits in Qatar, which have also seen her criticised due to the Middle Eastern nation's strict laws. She did not appear fazed ahead of Monday's match at the Al Janoub Stadium, though, as she posed for pictures with the opposition fans.

Knoll, who has 1.3million followers on Instagram, had taunted Japan earlier in the day as she uploaded a series of pictures of herself eating sushi at a restaurant.

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Alongside the images, she also added a caption which read: "Japan, we are ready for you!" The match was the fourth meeting between the two sides and their first since a goalless draw at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Her followers have been well entertained in the build-up to the knockout stage match, with Knoll heading to a beach to pose in swimwear bearing Croatia's iconic colours.

Refencing their run to the semi-finals in their first World Cup as an independent nation, she waved the Croatian flag and wrote: “Let’s party like it’s 1998.”

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Knoll has been a standout fixture at Vatreni's matches at the tournament and was seen catching the attention of locals during the group stage.

Several supporters were captured taking pictures of her as she walked down the steps, prompting Qatari entrepreneur Mohammed Hassan Al-Jefairi to claim that they were taking the pictures because they disapproved of her clothing.

Visitors for the World Cup have been told to cover their shoulders and avoid wearing short skirts in order to respect Qatar's culture and laws.

Al-Jefairi was quoted by the Daily Mail explaining: “Just for your info they take a photo not because they like her but because they don't like the way she is mis-dressed on regards to our culture. You can confirm this with any local Qatari, probably to report it.”

On the pitch, Ivan Perisic's header cancelled out Daizen Maeda's opener for Japan to send the match to extra-time and make it the first match of the tournament to require an additional 30 minutes.


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