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Old clip recirculates with false claim it shows ‘Qatar World Cup stadium fire’

Old clip recirculates with false claim it shows 'Qatar World Cup stadium fire' - Featured image

Author(s): Mohammad MAZED, AFP Bangladesh

Footage that predates the Qatar World Cup by more than four years has resurfaced online in posts that falsely claim it shows a “massive fire” at the tournament which kicked off on November 20. The clip, which has racked up thousands of views in false posts, actually shows football fans setting off fireworks at a match in Germany in May 2018, after Hamburg’s historic relegation from the Bundesliga league.

“A terrible fire at the World Cup stadium. The intensity of the fire at a massive level, red alert in Qatar,” reads a Bengali-language Facebook post shared on November 23.

The video, which has more than 5,000 views, shows security personnel running towards a football pitch engulfed in thick smoke.

Screenshot of a Facebook post sharing the false claim, taken on November 25, 2022

The video was shared in similar Facebook posts in Bengali and English.

However, reverse image searches and keyword searches found the video was filmed years before the Qatar World Cup.

Hamburg relegated

The clip was previously posted on YouTube on May 13, 2018 by German sport and entertainment channel 4S-TV.

The video title reads: “Hamburger SV – Borussia Mönchengladbach | Pyro-Riot & Game Interruption | 12.05.2018.”

The description reads: “After 55 years in the 1. Bundesliga the dinosaur of the German football goes down to the 2. Bundesliga”.

Hamburg was relegated from the Bundesliga league for the first time in its history in 2018, as a win over Borussia Moenchengladbach proved too little too late.

The six-time German champions are the only team to have played in every single Bundesliga season since the league’s inauguration in 1963, earning them the nickname “dinosaur”.

A proud run of 55 season in Germany’s top flight came to an ugly end, as Hamburg fans set off a flurry of fireworks, releasing a cloud of black smoke across the Volksparkstadion, forcing play to be suspended just minutes from time.

The footage circulating in false posts about Qatar (below-left) corresponds to the YouTube video about Hamburg’s relegation in the Bundesliga in 2018 (below-right).

An AFP photographer took various images of the chaos that erupted — for example here and here.


AFP photograph of police running onto the pitch at Hamburg on May 12, 2018 after fans threw fireworks


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Originally published here.