FACT CHECK: Did Al Jazeera Report That Ukrainian Fans Defaced World Cup Posters With Nazi Signs?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Twitter claims Qatari outlet Al Jazeera reported that Ukrainian soccer fans were arrested for defacing World Cup posters with pro-Nazi signs.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence this report exists. Al Jazeera denied the claim in a statement.

Fact Check:

Russia invaded Ukraine in February with the goal of “denazifying” the country, according to The Washington Post. Some Ukrainian soccer fans are backing Poland and England in the World Cup, which takes place in Qatar, after the country’s national team did not qualify, Al Jazeera reported.

The Twitter video, viewed more than 4,000 times, claims that Al Jazeera reported that Ukrainian soccer fans were arrested for defacing World Cup posters with Nazi signs, including painting a “Hitler mustache” on World Cup mascot La’eeb.

The claim is fabricated. Check Your Fact looked through Al Jazeera’s Twitter account, YouTube account and website and did not find any reporting on this alleged incident. If this incident had occurred, credible media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Al Jazeera’s public relations Twitter account released a statement debunking the claim. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Volodymyr Zelenskyy Dancing With A Rocket Launcher?)

“A video on social media attributed to Al Jazeera has been circulating referring to the arrest of Ukrainian fans during the FIFA World Cup. The video in question is completely fake and Al Jazeera has never published any news related to this story,” reads the statement.

Al Jazeera also published a fact-check debunking the claim. The outlet reported that the clip contained a “phrase” that “would not have escaped our copy editors.” The video also misspells the stadium name as “El Beit” rather than the correct spelling of “Al Bayt,” according to the outlet.

False claims about the World Cup have widely circulated on social media regarding the host country and other specific attendees. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting the German national team’s plane could not land in Qatar due to their inclusion of a pro-diversity picture on the aircraft.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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