Two images of La'eeb

La’eeb (Qatar World Cup Mascot)

Part of a series on 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. [View Related Entries]

Updated Nov 29, 2022 at 08:11AM EST by Rebecca Rhodes.

Added Nov 28, 2022 at 10:31AM EST by Mateus.

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La’eeb (Qatar 2022 World Cup Mascot) is the official mascot of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar that drew attention on social media during the tournament's opening ceremony. People worldwide shared memes calling him a “little ghost” and created other versions of the mascot, including implications that he is homophobic, referencing the complicated history of human rights violations in Qatar brought to light by the World Cup.


The tournament's official mascot was revealed on April 1st, 2022. his name is Laʼeeb[1] (Arabic: لعيب, romanized: Laʿīb), which is an Arabic word meaning "super-skilled player." He is inspired by the Qatari traditional headdress, the ghutra.[2] According to the FIFA website[3] the mascot "will be known for his youthful spirit, spreading joy and confidence everywhere he goes."

On November 20th, 2022, the mascot was presented at the 2022 Qatar World Cup opening ceremony.[4] Alongside La'eeb, many other World Cup mascots appeared during the event (clip seen below).


On April 1st, 2022, the mascot being revealed led many Twitter users to create memes comparing him to the cartoon and comic book character "Casper the Friendly Ghost," like in the post below by @oithigas.[5]

On November 20th, 2022, a large-size version of the mascot was used during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The event generated new memes, like the "yassified"[6] version of the mascot posted by @thfobic on Twitter, garnering 4,300 likes and 740 retweets in a week (seen below).

"Tapioca Homofóbica"

The mascot of the 2022 World Cup has been used in reference to the treatment that migrant workers, women and LGBTQIA+ people receive in Qatar. One nickname the mascot received by Brazilians went viral on Twitter, calling it "tapioca homofóbica", in reference to a popular local food in the country. The nickname's literal translation would be "homophobic tapioca." The Brazilian Twitter[8] user @vanglockkk shared a meme of the mascot with the LGBTQ+ flag and question mark alongside the screenshot Senegal vs. Netherlands match, in which a player pressed his hands against the opponent's genitals. The tweet received 4,400 likes and 608 retweets in a week (seen below).

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