Many fans compare the mascot of the 2022 World Cup – “La’eeb” – with the ghost in the cartoon.
The official mascot of the 2022 World Cup was announced by Qatar and FIFA a few hours before the draw took place in Doha, Qatar on the evening of April 1. La’eeb is an Arabic word meaning super-skilled player.
Khalid Ali Al Mawlawi, Deputy Director General, Marketing, Communications and Tournament Experience, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “We are delighted to unveil La’eeb as the Official Mascot for the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world. He comes from the mascot-verse – a place that is indescribable. We encourage everyone to imagine what it looks like.”
The 2022 World Cup mascot immediately got viral on Twitter after its debut.
“Why is Casper playing football. The thing does not even have feet like,” account @holtcupcakes wrote, posting with a crying emoji. Casper is the main character – a cute and innocent ghost but often bullied by his three evil relatives – in the popular animated film Casper the Friendly Ghost.
“Well that’s terrible,” commented @Cam_Felton.
“What is this?”, @SuttonDruck surprised.
Meanwhile, @WVPitt compares: “The 2022 World Cup mascot is like the towel we used to wipe our faces when we were a child.”
One Barcelona fan mocked: “Why does La’eeb look like Ronaldo in big matches?”. This person alludes to Cristiano Ronaldo‘s performance, always poor form when meeting top teams.
Other netizens criticized La’eeb when compared with Naranjito – the 1982 World Cup mascot in Spain. Naranjito represents the typical Spanish orange, wearing the traditional red uniform of the Spanish national team. The name of the 1982 World Cup mascot comes from the Spanish word naranja, which means orange.
The opening match of the 2022 World Cup will take place between hosts Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium at 1:00 p.m., November 21 (UTC+3). The final will take place on December 18 at Lusail Iconic Stadium. This World Cup takes place in 28 days instead of 32 days as before.
This is the second time the World Cup is held in Asia, after the first time it was co-hosted by Japan and South Korea in 2002. Because the summer temperature in Qatar is usually over 40°C, in 2018 FIFA decided to hold in the winter for the first time in history.