Video showing Quran recital is not from FIFA 2022 ceremony

Old video from 2021 inaugural ceremony shared with misleading claim

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Claim: A video shared on social media apparently shows a Quran recital at the opening ceremony of the Qatar World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Fact: The claim is false. The video is from 2021 from the official inauguration ceremony of the Al Thumama World Cup Stadium in Qatar.

On 21 November 2022, a Facebook user shared a video with an Urdu caption that, when translated into English, reads, “Qatar is the first Muslim country to host the FIFA World Cup. The tournament started with [dress rehearsal] with a Quran recitation.”

The 2-minute-long video shows a group of young boys, led by a man, reciting the Quran in a stadium. The video started circulating as Qatar geared up to host the World Cup opening ceremony at the Al Bayt Stadium on 20 November 2022.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check investigated the claim after the World Cup ambassador Ghanim Al Muftah actually recited a verse from the Quran during the ceremony.

An InVID video analysis of the video keyframes turned up an image published by Yallakora – an Egyptian Sports on 23 October 2021.

The Arabic language caption translated into English reads, “At the opening of the Al-Thumama World Cup stadium in Qatar, the celebration began with the recitation of the Qur’an by some children.”

A further keyword search led to a longer video with similar scenes in a YouTube video posted by the Qatari news outlet Alrayyan TV on 23 October 2021.

The corresponding scenes can be seen at the 02:45 mark of the Alrayyan TV video.

Comparison of keyframes between original video (left) and false claim (right)

Al-Jazeera also published a video report of the inauguration ceremony, and the same video can also be seen here.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 7-day period from 15 to 22 November using the following search terms:

  • “قطر فیفا ورلڈ کپ کی میزبانی کرنے والا پہلا مسلم ملک ہے۔ ٹورنامنٹ کا آغاز تلاوت قرآن کے ساتھ [ڈریس ریہرسل] سے ہوا”
  • “Children reciting Quran at FIFA Qatar”

The first search term received 374,605 interactions across 610 video posts on Facebook. The video posts with higher interactions can be seen here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The second search term garnered 32,863 interactions across 88 posts. A few can be seen here, here, here, here, here, and here.

On Twitter, the video with the false claim received 1,441 retweets, 5,000 likes and 102.1k views. It can be seen here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The video of people reciting the Quran is not from the FIFA World Cup 2022 ceremony. The video is from 2021, when Qatar inaugurated the Al Thumama World Cup Stadium.

 

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