Sunday, May 26, 2024
Sunday, May 26, 2024

HomeFact CheckOld Video Of Fans Showering Football Pitch With Toys For Children Affected...

Old Video Of Fans Showering Football Pitch With Toys For Children Affected By Turkey Earthquake Falsely Linked To Israel-Palestine Conflict

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Ruby leads editorial, operations and initiatives at Newschecker. In her former avatar at New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s leading national news network, she was a news anchor, supervising producer and senior output editor. Her over a decade-long career encompasses ground-breaking reportage from conflict zones and reporting on terror incidents, election campaigns, and gender issues. Ruby is an Emmy-nominated producer and has handled both local and international assignments, including the coverage of Arab Spring in 2011, the US Presidential elections in 2016, and ground reportage on the Kashmir issue since 2009.

Claim
Mass donation of toys inside a football stadium for Palestinian children left orphaned or homeless by the Israeli air strikes in Gaza in October 2023.

Fact
Fans shower a football pitch in Istanbul with soft toys for children affected by the deadly earthquake that struck Turkey in February 2023

Several social media users are sharing a video of what appears to be a mass donation of soft toys inside a football stadium, claiming that the event was organised as a show of solidarity for the Palestinian children affected by the Israeli air strikes in Gaza.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant organisation Hamas entered into a 17th day on Monday (October 23) with more than 6,000 people killed.

The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.

Fact Check

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “donation drive football toys Palestine stadium”, which did not throw up any credible news reports of such a donation drive. Also, users sharing the viral video did not specify the location of the event, raising our doubts.

We then ran a reverse image search of keyframes of the video, which led us to this Instagram video, dated August 14, 2023, which predated the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. One user stated that the toys were for the children affected by the earthquake in Turkey.

Screengrabs of the Instagram reel (left) and the viral video.

Taking a cue from this, we ran a keyword search for “Turkey stadium football toys donation earthquake”, which led us to multiple news reports about the mass donation drive on February 26 at Vodafone Park in Istanbul during a Turkish league match.  

“Soccer fans in Turkey showered a soccer pitch with thousands of soft toys, all of which will go to children left orphaned and homeless after two deadly earthquakes hit the country in February. The Turkish Süper Lig game between the Istanbul-based Beşiktaş team and the Antalyaspor football club was paused four minutes and 17 seconds into the game. This was a nod to the time the first earthquake hit the country on February 6 — 4:17 a.m. local time,” read a Business Insider report, dated February 28, 2023.

The February 6 earthquakes of 7.8 magnitude and 7.5 magnitude, the most deadly in modern Turkey’s history, killed more than 44,300 people and reduced several cities to rubble.

“Besiktas supporters threw thousands of soft toys onto the pitch during the match against Antalyaspor to donate to children affected by the earthquakes. The match was paused after four minutes 17 seconds, representing the time the first earthquake struck Turkey and Syria at 04:17 on 6 February,” read a BBC report, dated February 27, 2023. Similar reports can be seen here, here, here and here.

Tweets from multiple media outlets, sharing videos of the event, can be seen here, here and here.

We came across a statement from Besiktas, dated February 26, 2023, on their website, which stated, “To boost the morale of children affected by the recent earthquakes, Beşiktaş supporters organised a unique donation event called “This Toy is for You,” to be held at Vodafone Park during Beşiktaş’ match against Antalyaspor. At exactly the 17th second of the 4th minute of the match, which corresponded to the time of the first earthquake, Beşiktaş supporters threw brand new stuffed toys onto the pitch. The toys will be delivered to the children living in the earthquake-hit areas with Beşiktaş aid trucks,” read the statement.

We have reached out to the club and will update the copy once we receive a response.

Also Read: Cristiano Ronaldo Supporting Palestine? Viral Video Comprises Edited, Misleading Visuals

Conclusion

Viral video claimed to show football fans showering the pitch with soft toys in a show of solidarity for the children affected by the Gaza air strikes is actually of a mass donation drive organised for the children in earthquake-hit Turkey in February 2023.

Result: False

Sources
Business Insider report, February 28, 2023
Reuters tweet, February 27, 2023
Besiktas statement, February 26, 2023


If you would like us to fact-check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill out the form.

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Ruby leads editorial, operations and initiatives at Newschecker. In her former avatar at New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s leading national news network, she was a news anchor, supervising producer and senior output editor. Her over a decade-long career encompasses ground-breaking reportage from conflict zones and reporting on terror incidents, election campaigns, and gender issues. Ruby is an Emmy-nominated producer and has handled both local and international assignments, including the coverage of Arab Spring in 2011, the US Presidential elections in 2016, and ground reportage on the Kashmir issue since 2009.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular