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Football Fans Share Misleading Photos After Disputed Ghana-South Africa World Cup Qualifiers

Nigeria, Lagos. Stadteil Ijora, Ghanaer Ghetto. (Photo by Markus Matzel/ullstein bild via Getty Images) 5 mins read

On Sunday, November 14, 2021, the Ghana senior male national team, the Black Stars, came face to face with their South African counterparts in a qualifier match for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The match was crucial for the country as Ghana needed a win to progress to the next stage of the qualifiers for the World Cup. South Africa, on the other hand, needed just a point to sail through.

The game ended 1-0 for Ghana after captain Dede Ayew converted a penalty kick which is being disputed by the South Africans

Hours after the game, a social media user, Mavela_MX, posted a photo on Twitter, allegedly showing  the state of Ghana’s roads after the country had used all its financial resources to pay the referee of the match. 

The caption associated with the photo seems to be an expression of agitation about the outcome of the Ghana – South Africa game.


Some other photos were posted as comments in reaction by other Twitter users, making claims about the setting of the images they had posted. 

A Google Reverse Image search was conducted for all the photos to ascertain their origin.

Claim 1: Social media user, Mavela_MX alleges that the photo below depicts a road network in Ghana. 

In many of the instances found using reverse image search, the setting was identified as Zimbabwe.

Many of the results that came up after a Google reverse image search point to Pumula North, Zimbabwe, as the origin of the photo.

The photo has been posted online several times, especially on Twitter. 

A Twitter user, Prof. Shepherd Mpofu, was identified as among those who first posted the image. He posted the image on March 6, 2021. 

When he was contacted to ascertain the source, he claimed ownership of the photo.

Earlier, we had contacted a verified user, Hopewell Chin’ono, asking for the origin of the photo as he had posted it on March 7, 2021

He is yet to respond.

CLAIM 2: Social media user, Yonela Nkosi alleges that the photo below depicts an area in Ghana. 

This photo is from Nigeria. 

Verification

Several results came up after the Reverse image search

In October 2017, the photo was used by BBC Pidgin in a story that was focused on Nigeria.

They credited Getty Images as the source of the image and the photo can indeed be found in their image collection.

The caption reads: (GERMANY OUT) NGA. Nigeria, Lagos. Stadteil Ijora, Ghanaer Ghetto. (Photo by Markus Matzel/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

CLAIM 3: Social media user, Kwasiabinti, alleges that the photo below depicts an area in South Africa. 

The photo has been on the internet as far back as 2008 and has been used by various people. There is no agreement on the origin of the photo. 

There have been numerous instances where the photo was used in a publication.

In an article titled ‘Crime, Violence and Poverty in Jamaica,’ which was published by Balthazar Issa on www.medium.com, the photo was used. 

However, the caption used for the photo was “Polluted Ghetto” – which does not, in any way, suggest that the photo was its setting in Jamaica.

This article was published on May 3, 2015. 

The image was also used in a 2014 article published on www.johnrieber.com.

The website is operated by John Rieber. His bio on Twitter reads as “a lover of food, bacon, burgers, travel, music, pop culture and cinema – of all kinds – please check out my blog! 

Although the photo was uploaded in April 2014, it was used in an article on the website in July 2014.

When John Rieber was contacted about the origin of the image, he admitted that it was not from him.

“I found this image online. I did not take the photo and used it only in a fair use manner to visualize a review of a book,” he told Dubawa via email.

We also found that the picture was used in a post on Kentoledo Social Service Club’s website.

The photo was captioned: Poor state of roads in the Mathare slums.

Mathare is a town in Kenya.

We wrote to the Club to inquire if they are the originators of the photo but a response is yet to be received.

The image can also be seen in a 2010 post on religiousleftlaw.com

The same photo was among a number that were published in 2008 on www.ebaumsworld.com – It’s caption suggested that the photo originated from Somalia.

The image has been on the internet as far back as 2008 and has been used by various people who have mentioned different places as the origin of the photo.

Conclusion

The photo, as posted by Yonela Nkosi, is not from Ghana. The said photo is from Nigeria. 

Also, the claim made by Mavela_MX is false. According to available evidence, the photo is originating from Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, there is insufficient evidence to ascertain the origin of the photo posted by Kwasiabinti_. There are conflicting claims about the setting of the photo.

This report was produced under the Dubawa Student Fact-checking Project aimed at offering students in tertiary schools aspiring to take up roles in the profession the opportunity to acquire real-world experience through verification and fact-checking. 

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