Photo of a man with rifle does not show head of Tunisia’s football team Club Africain

An image of a man at a desk with an automatic rifle has been shared on Facebook alongside a claim that it shows the CEO of Tunisia’s football team Club Africain talking to a journalist. But this is false: AFP Fact Check found that the picture is an old and unrelated photograph of an unidentified man in Afghanistan.

The post has drawn thousands of likes and more than 260 shares since it was published on Facebook in Tanzania on October 19, 2022.

Screenshot showing the false post, taken on November 1, 2022

Written in Swahili, the post translates to: “The CEO of Club Africain of Tunisia being interviewed after their match with Tanzania’s Yanga SC.”

The two teams were drawn together in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederation Cup on October 18, 2022. They will play their first match on November 2, 2022, in Dar es Salaam with the return leg scheduled a week later in Tunis.

The CAF Confederation Cup is the second-tier competition featuring African top clubs drawn from local leagues. It ranks second on the continent after the CAF Champions League and is the equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.

However, the image of the man with the automatic rifle sitting behind an office desk does not show Club Africain’s leader.

Who is the Club Africain president?

Club Africain has a president, not a CEO. His name is Youssef El Elmi, and he is not the man featured in the post.

A side-by-side comparison of photos of Youssef El Elmi (left) and the unidentified Afghan man (right)

None of the club’s other top officials resembles the man holding the rifle.

Additionally, a reverse image search shows that the image has been online since at least 2021 and is the subject of other misleading claims.

Club Africain told AFP Fact Check that the man in the photograph was not associated with the football team.

“The man carrying a gun in the picture is not our club official and we do not know who he is. Our club president is Mr. Youssef El Elmi,” the club said.

It also noted that the post falsely claimed that the club had already played against Yanga FC, which was not the case at the time of publication.

While AFP Fact Check was unable to identify the man featured in the photo or its location, the flag in the background matches that of the Afghanistan Revenue Department, indicating that this was likely taken in Afghanistan.

Is there content that you would like AFP to fact-check? Get in touch.

Contact us