FIFA World Cup 2022: Al Jazeera report on fake Ukrainian fans

The video appears to be an Al Jazeera report on Ukrainian fans defacing posters with Nazi symbols at the World Cup, but the video is fake.

The 2022 World Cup is on on road in Doha, Qatar and will last until December 18th. Since the first game, VERIFY has reviewed images and videos claiming to be from the tournament.

A video posted to Twitter on November 22 claims to show an Al Jazeera news report on Ukrainian fans. The report claims fans were arrested by Qatari police for vandalism after they painted Nazi symbols on FIFA posters. The video has been viewed more than 180,000 times.

The Russian Embassy in the UK also shared a screenshot from the videoalong with a tweet that said: “After getting sober, [Ukrainian] Fans were surprised to find out that the “immunity” some Western countries grant to Ukrainian neo-Nazis cannot be enjoyed in normal countries #Qatar.”


Is Al Jazeera’s news report on drunk Ukrainian fans arrested for Nazi vandalism real?


  • Al Jazeera speaker
  • Analysis of verified Al Jazeera social media channels


That's wrong.

No, the video is not a genuine Al Jazeera report.


The video was edited to look like an Al Jazeera report, but the video is fake. There have been no reports of Ukrainian fans being arrested in Ukraine, and a VERIFY analysis found that there was no evidence Al Jazeera had ever published such a report on any of their official social media accounts.

A spokesman for Al Jazeera told VERIFY in an email: “The video in question is completely fake and Al Jazeera has never released this or any other material related to it.”

Al Jazeera also tweeted about the video on November 24, saying: “A video attributed to Al Jazeera is circulating on social media relating to the arrest of Ukrainian fans during the FIFA World Cup. The video in question is completely fake and Al Jazeera has never released any news regarding this story.”

The video was styled to look like an Al Jazeera report by including the Al Jazeera logo and branding elements similar to those used by the news organization in their videos posted on social media (see Examples of real reports here and here).

While the video may appear genuine at first glance, there are critical flaws that further point to its inauthenticity. The grammar and punctuation seen in the manipulated video does not match Al Jazeera’s coverage of the World Cup. The name of the FIFA mascot La’eeb is misspelled in the video and the name of the stadium where the placards were allegedly destroyed – Al Bayt World Cup Stadium – is also misspelled.

Also, Ukraine didn’t qualify for the 2022 World Cup at all. They lost their bid for a trip to the tournament afterwards Lost 1-0 to Wales in June.

The reference to the Ukrainian fans posting Nazi symbolism plays into a narrative used in Russia, including by Russian President Vladimir Putin. who said his invasion of Ukraine was a mission to “demilitarize and denazify” the country.

VERIFY has reached out to FIFA, the Government of Qatar and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for comment on any arrests and has received no response at the time of publication.

More from VERIFY: These 3 videos are not actually from the 2022 World Cup

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Laura Coffey

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