Video of Muslims praying in the stadium is not from FIFA 2022

Old video from 2019 shared with misleading claim

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Claim: A social media video shows Muslims offering prayer in Qatar stadium during FIFA World Cup 2022.

Fact: The claim is false. The video has been circulating since 2019 and shows Muslims offering iftar prayers at an arena in Russia’s city of Kazan.

On 22 November 2022, a Facebook user shared a video with an Urdu caption that, when translated into English, reads, “Congregational prayer at Qatar Football Stadium.”

The 29-second video shows a huge crowd performing the Muslim prayer [Namaz] in the stadium.

Fact or Fiction?

An  InVID analysis of some keyframes of the clip shows that the same video was posted by a YouTube channel on 16 June 2019.

The reel caption reads, “Prayers at Kazan Stadium, Tatarstan (May 25th 2019)”

Soch Fact Check further investigated the matter and found that the Kazan written on the seats of the stadium corresponds to Russia’s Ak Bars Arena — formerly known as Kazan Arena — located in the Republic of Tatarstan’s capital Kazan.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the false posts (left) with the Google image of Kazan Arena (right).

Comparative screenshot of Kazan Arena images

The video showed authorities during an iftar prayer, which marks the end of a day’s fasting during Islam’s Ramadan month, according to a statement from the office of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan released on 25 May 2019.

President Rustam Minnikhanov is cited as saying, “Our prayers, pleas to Allah are about ensuring peace and harmony in Russia, so that our country to be stronger (sic) and our republic developed.”

A video with scenes resembling those in the fake posts is also included in the statement.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted an organic search on Facebook, which showed that the video with the false claim has been shared here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Chaudhry Abid Raza also shared the video with the false claim. The video post received 1.4 million views, 2,400 shares and 60,000 likes.

On Twitter, former Punjab governor and politician Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar also shared the video with the false claim on 21 November 2022. The caption of the video reads, “Beautiful moment during #QatarWorldCup2022 when #Qatar stadium paused to offer #prayers. #FIFAWorldCup2022 is a fantastic opportunity to showcase to world, importance of peace & compassion in #Islam. #Qatar is doing a great job, highlighting diversity & culture of Islamic states.”

The tweet received 3,205 likes, 700 retweets, and 32.9 k views between 21 November to 11 December.

Conclusion: The video of Muslims offering prayer is not from the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022. The video is from 2019 when Russia organised an iftar ceremony at the Kazan arena.

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