Video shows Saudi football tournament in 2019, not Qatar World Cup

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A video has been viewed more than a million times in social media posts falsely claiming it shows a man on a drone waving a flag with the Islamic proclamation of faith at the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. The video was in fact filmed in Saudi Arabia during the local King's Cup football tournament in May 2019.

The video was viewed more than 1.4 million times in a Facebook post shared on November 22.

The Urdu-language caption reads: "During the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, a person on a drone waved a flag with the Kalma Tayyaba and sent a message to the whole world that only this flag will fly the highest in the Islamic world."

"Kalma Tayyaba" refers to the Islamic proclamation of faith, which features on the flag of Saudi Arabia seen in the video.

Screenshot of the false post. Taken on January 4, 2023.

The clip was shared hundreds of times in similar posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok.

Qatar became the first Muslim nation to host the World Cup and welcomed hundreds of thousands of fans, taking advantage of the opportunity to change minds about Islam or even make conversions.

However, the video was not filmed in Qatar.

Saudi tournament in 2019

A reverse image and keyword search found a longer video with matching scenes posted on Twitter on May 2, 2019 by Saudi sports platform Dawri Plus.

The Arabic-language tweet reads: "'The flying man' opens the great showdown #Al-Taawoun_Al-Ittihad #Custodian_of_the_Two_Holy_Mosques_Cup #Dawri_Plus."

The hashtags in the caption refer to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup or King's Cup, where the Al-Taawoun team beat Al-Ittihad in the final on May 2, 2019.

"King Salman attended the final match in the tournament and presented the cup to Al-Taawoun which won their first-ever King’s Cup trophy in only their second trip to the final," Saudi newspaper Arab News reported on May 2, 2019.

Similar scenes can also be seen from the 03:31 mark in a video posted on YouTube on May 3, 2019 by UAE-based Abu Dhabi Sports.

Below is a screenshot comparing scenes from the false posts (left) with the one from Dawri Plus (right):

Screenshot comparison

The false posts were also debunked by the Indian fact-checking platform FactCrescendo.

World Cup 2022