FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show People Rushing At A Paris Airport To Greet Lionel Messi?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows people running into a Paris, France, airport for the arrival of soccer player Lionel Messi.

Verdict: False

The video actually shows American football fans entering the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in 2019.

Fact Check:

The video of people rushing through glass doors was shared on Facebook amid the news that Messi had signed a two-year contract to play for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) with an option for a third year. Messi arrived on Aug. 10 at Le Bourget airport, where some fans gathered to welcome him to Paris, according to the Associated Press.

“Current situation at the airport of France. Waiting for the arrival of Leo Messi,” reads the Facebook post’s caption. “Messi is bigger than any other club.” (RELATED: Does This Image Show An ‘Electric Car Cemetery’ In France?)

While Messi did, according to video posted on YouTube by AFP, wave to fans after landing at the Paris airport, the footage being shared on Facebook doesn’t depict fans rushing to greet him there. The footage of people running through glass doors actually predates Messi’s signing with PSG by over two years.

Jon Machota, a sports reporter who currently covers the Dallas Cowboys football team for The Athletic, tweeted the same video on Jan. 5, 2019, with the caption stating, “AT&T Stadium doors have opened for Cowboys vs. Seahawks.” AT&T Stadium, located in Arlington, Texas, is the home stadium of the Dallas Cowboys.

In both versions of the footage, the logo for the Dallas Cowboys can be seen in the bottom-left corner. News outlets such as Fox 5 San Diego and Yahoo! Sports also reported that video, credited to Machota, captured fans rushing into AT&T Stadium ahead of the Jan. 5, 2019, wild card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys won the game 24 to 22, according to the Washington Post.

Yahoo! Sports reported the fans running in the video had standing-room only “Party Pass” tickets. YouTube videos posted by Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News show other rushes by Party Pass-carrying fans before Cowboys games in 2015 and 2017.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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