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Video of soccer fans supporting Palestine is not from the World Cup

November 30, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: A video shows a stadium of soccer fans singing in support of Palestine and against Israel during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video shows a 2019 soccer match between Moroccan team Raja Casablanca and Palestinian team Hilal Al Quds at the Mohamed V stadium in Casablanca.

THE FACTS: Social media users are sharing a video clip of a stadium filled with fans singing and waving Palestinian flags and banners, falsely claiming that it is from this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

“*Great moment.* *First time in world’s *History,*” reads one post on Twitter from Saturday with more than 8,000 likes. “*Whole Qatar FIFA stadium sung together unitedly in favour of Palestine against Jews and Israel.”

Another version posted Tuesday on Twitter with the same caption received more than 24,000 views. Similar versions of the post with the same video were also shared on Facebook.

However, the clip dates back to 2019. Longer versions of the video were posted on YouTube in September 2019.

In the clip that’s now circulating online, the time on the scoreboard at one point reads 72:41, displaying a score of 1-0. The longer versions of the video show the same time and score, and the same banners can be seen in the crowd in all of the versions.

The longer video also shows a scoreboard that displays the text “RCA vs Hilal al-Quds.” RCA, or Raja Casablanca, is a soccer club based in Morocco. Hilal Al Quds is a Palestinian club.

Raja Casablanca’s official Twitter account advertised a game against Hilal Al Quds at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca on September 23, 2019, the same day the longer versions of the videos were posted online. A post from a Raja Casablanca fan Twitter account also included photos of the match at the same stadium on that day.

The match was a part of the 2019 Arab Club Champions Cup, which is also known as the Mohamad VI Arab Champions Cup, according to another tweet from Raja Casablanca.

Geolocation data from Google Maps of Morocco’s Mohammed V Stadium shows the same structure captured in the clip and the longer versions of the video. It also matches the images of the stadium posted by the Moroccan team and its fan account.

A local media report in English also confirms that this video is from 2019 and shows Moroccan soccer fans singing in solidarity with Palestine. There were also news reports in French and Arabic. While this video was filmed in 2019, Moroccan soccer fans can be heard singing the same song in separate videos shared on social media of the 2022 World Cup.

Tension and controversy have followed Israelis and Palestinians entering Doha, Qatar’s capital, for the World Cup, despite neither Israeli nor Palestinian national teams competing in the tournament. There have been other clips of Palestinians and Qataris angrily confronting Israeli reporters on live TV, according to AP reporting.

The AP also reported that a group of young Palestinians who live in Doha chanted, “Free Palestine!” while marching through the city’s historic Souq Waqif market on Sunday.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.