Doctored video passed off as Saudi player convincing Messi to embrace Islam

A 10-second video clip of a conversation between Saudi Arabia footballer Ali Albulayhi and Argentina star footballer Lionel Messi is being widely circulated with the claim that the Saudi player is convincing Messi to embrace Islam.

By Md Mahfooz Alam  Published on  25 Nov 2022 11:08 AM GMT
Doctored video passed off as Saudi player convincing Messi to embrace Islam

A 10-second video clip of a conversation between Saudi Arabia footballer Ali Albulayhi and Argentina star footballer Lionel Messi is being widely circulated with the claim that the Saudi player is convincing Messi to embrace Islam.

The video shows Albulayhi saying, "If you are a non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no matter whatever you do in life, you go straight to heaven…"

Facebook users are sharing the video claiming it is a leaked conversation between the Saudi player and Messi. (Click here and here to see the posts.)


Twitter users have also shared the video with the same claim. (Click here and here to see the post.)

The claim comes after Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina 2-1 in the Group C match in the biggest upset of World Cup history.

Fact Check

NewsMeter noticed the commentator in the video say, "Sri Lanka winning by seven wickets through Duckworth–Lewis's rule," which gave us the clue that the video could be doctored.

Next, we ran a keyword search and found a 2014 article by NDTV Sports titled "Convert and You Will go to Heaven, Pakistani Cricketer Told Dilshan." It said that Pakistani cricket player Ahmed Shehzad was caught on camera telling Sri Lakan player Tillakaratne Dilshan "If you are a non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no matter whatever you do in your life, straight to heaven."

We also found the original video of Shehzad telling Dilshan to embrace Islam published on 4 September 2014 by ABP News titled "Convert and you'll go straight to heaven: Pak cricketer makes religious pitch to Lankan player."

On the social media chatter about what could have transpired between Albulayhi and Messi, The India Express quoted The Sun and said the Saudi player told the Argentine legend, "You will not win, you will not win!"

Goal and Eurosport also reported that Albulayhi revealed to the media that he told Messi "You won't win."

From these findings, it is evident that the audio of a conversation between Ahmed Shehzad asking Tillakaratne Dilshan to embrace Islam is overlaid in the viral video of Ali Albulayhi and Lionel Messi. Hence, the claim is misleading.

Claim Review:Saudi player convincing Messi to embrace Islam.
Claimed By:Social Media users
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Facebook, Twitter
Claim Fact Check:Misleading
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