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Fact Check: Saudi defender did not ask Lionel Messi to convert

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Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Nov 26: Saudi Arabia staged a major upset in the FIFA 2022 World Cup when it defeated Argentina. The Saudi government announced a holiday to celebrate the win.

Now a video has gone viral showing the confrontation between Argentina captain, Lionel Messi and Saudi defender Ali Al-Bulayhi. Those sharing the video on Facebook and Twitter claimed that Bulayhi had asked Messi to embrace Islam in the middle of the match.

Fact Check: Saudi defender did not ask Lionel Messi to convert

Al-Bulayhi can be seen giving Messi a pat on the back. He says if you are non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no matter what you do in life, straight to heaven. The rest of the audio is not clear. Messi can be seen chuckling following which Al-Bulayhi says, 'be ready for the fire.'

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OneIndia has learnt that the the audio has been doctored. The actual clip was that of Pakistani opener Ahmed Shehzad asking Sr Lankan cricketer, Tilakratne Dilshan to embrace Islam. This happened in 2014 during the last one-day international match of Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka. The report said that this took place in 2014 and it also contained the exact words that Shehzad had spoken. This has been added to the viral video featuring Messi.

We also came across a YouTube video posted by ABP News. The conversation between Shehzad and Dilshan are the same which have been added to the viral video. Following the incident, the Pakistan Cricket Board summoned Shehzad seeking an explanation and also issued him an official reprimand.

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In the actual clip Al-Bulayhi slaps Messi on the back after the lead that Saudi Arabia took in the game. However no audio can be heard in the clip. The Saudi defender revealed after the match that he had gone up to Messi and said, 'you will not win, you will not win.' Hence it is clear that the clip that went viral with the claim stating that Messi was asked to convert to Islam is fake.

Fact Check

Claim

Lionel Messi was asked by Saudi defender to convert to Islam

Conclusion

The clip is a doctored one

Rating

False
Raise your request for FACT CHECKING. Mail us at factcheck@one.in

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