Video of US rally for Imran Khan is from a celebration in Senegal

The clip shows football fans in Senegal celebrating their national team’s win

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Claim: A video circulating on social media depicts people gathered in the United States to show their support for Imran Khan, Pakistan’s ousted former prime minister, following his removal from office in April 2022. 

Fact: The video does not show crowds rallying for Khan in the United States but rather football fans celebrating Senegal’s victory in the Africa Cup of Nations in February 2022. 

Fact or Fiction?

On 11 April 2022, Facebook user Nazir Afridi shared a video claiming that it depicts a rally in support of Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former prime minister,  in the United States. 

The caption of the post reads, “ امریکہ میں عمران کے حق میں ریلی. امریکہ بھی جان چکا ہیں کہ عمران خان حق پر تھا [A rally in support of Imran Khan in America. America now knows that Imran Khan was on the right side].”

The claim was picked up by various profiles, pages and groups including, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, among others.

Soch Fact Check ascertained that the 13-second clip features the flag of Senegal — a tricolour flag consisting of three vertical green, yellow and red bands  with a five-pointed green star in the centre — at the 0:01 mark. It also shows some people wearing football jerseys. 

To further investigate the claim, Soch Fact Check searched Google with the  term “football fans gather in Senegal” and found a video posted by AFP News Agency on their YouTube channel on 8 February 2022. The video titled, “Ecstatic crowds greet victorious Senegal on Cup of Nations return | AFP”, has been viewed by more than 558,000 people.

The AFP video’s caption reveals that a large number of people took to the streets of Senegal’s capital Dakar to welcome the national football team on 7 February 2022 following the Lions of Teranga’s victory in the African Cup of Nations for the first time in the country’s history.

Soch Fact Check took screenshots from the viral video mentioned above and compared it with screenshots from the AFP video. As can be seen in the graphic below, it appears that some scenes are the same in the videos such as a group of men standing on the roof of a bus at the 0:01 mark of the viral video and 50-second mark of AFP’s video.

IFCN-certified fact-checking website AFP also debunked the claim that the video of football fans’ celebrating in Senegal is of an Imran Khan rally in the US. According to AFP Fact Check’s analysis, the viral video appeared in a tweet from 8 February 2022. The tweet’s French caption translates to “Did you see all these people today?” in English. It also contains a Senegalese flag emoji. 

Virality

According to a CrowdTangle analysis conducted by Soch Fact Check, the search term “ امریکہ میں عمران خان کے حق میں ریلی امریکہ بھی جان چکا ہیں کہ عمران خان حق پر تھا [A rally in support of Imran Khan in America. America now knows that Imran Khan was on the right side]” turned up 73 posts on Facebook which received 3,952 interactions over the 12-day period leading up to 22 April 2022.

The analysis revealed that Nazir Afridi’s post gained 35 likes and 4,800 views. Meanwhile, Naveed Mehrvi’s post is performing 3.73x better than other similar posts with 1,500 likes, 836 shares and 10,000 views. 

Soch Fact Check also used Facebook’s search feature to check the virality of the video with the search term “ امریکہ میں عمران کے حق میں ریلی. امریکہ بھی جان چکا ہیں کہ عمران خان حق پر تھا [A rally in support of Imran Khan in America. America now knows that Imran Khan was on the right side].”

Conclusion: The video in question does not depict Imran Khan’s supporters in the US rallying for their ousted leader. In fact, it shows football fans in Senegal welcoming their national football team on 7 February 2022 following their African Cup of Nations’ win.

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