A viral clip purporting to show Saudi Arabia defender Ali Al-Bulayhi tried to coax Argentina striker Lionel Messi to convert to Islam, is fake as the audio of the clip has been tampered with.
BOOM found that the audio has been overlaid on to the clip from another video.
Saudi Arabia earned a spot in football folklore by registering a shock 2-1 win against Argentina in the FIFA World Cup on November 22, 2022. The ongoing world cup in Qatar might just be Lionel Messi's last world cup, a trophy that has so far eluded the footballer whom fans have dubbed GOAT (greatest of all time)
Since then, a clip has been circulating on Facebook which shows a conversation between Saudi defender Ali Al-Bulayhi and Messi claiming that the Al-Bulayhi is trying to convince Messi about the advantages of converting to Islam.
The video purports to show Al-Bulayhi saying, ""If you (are a) non-Muslim and you turn Muslim no matter whatever you do in life, (you go) straight to heaven."
This 10-second clip has been shared on Facebook with the caption, "leaked conversation of messi and a saudi player." (sic)
Click here to view the post.
Here are some other posts on Facebook with the similar claim.
The post has even started circulating on Twitter.
BOOM found that the video has been doctored since we have previously fact-checked another viral video with the same audio. Read our fact-check here.
The audio on the viral clip is actually a conversation between Pakistani cricketer Ahmed Shehzad and Sri Lankan cricketer Tillakaratne Dilshan during a one day international (ODI) game at Dambulla, when Pakistan was touring Sri Lanka mid 2014.
The conversation caught on camera between the two cricketers had stirred a controversy even back then and Ahmed Shehzad was slammed for making a religious remark towards the Sri Lankan cricketer.
Taking a cue from this, we ran a keyword search on YouTube to find a video of the incident. We found a report by ABP News that details how a conversation between the two was captured on camera. According to the report, the Pakistan Cricket Board also launched an investigation into the matter following the controversy.
The audio from this conversation has been overlaid in the brief interaction that Lionel Messi had with Ali Al-Bulayhi during the world cup match.
The actual conversation between the two, according to Al-Bulayhi was about the game itself. In a statement he gave to GOAL after the match, Al-Bulayhi revealed that he told Messi "You won't win." This was directly after Al-Dawsari's goal against Argentina.
The conversation between the two had nothing to do with religion and Islam.
BOOM could not independently verify the actual conversation that took place between Al-Bulayhi and Messi. However, our fact-check establishes that the audio on the viral video is doctored and taken from another video recorded during a cricket match.
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