Several Indian and international media outlets misleadingly reported that the Saudi Arabia football players were all set to be gifted a Rolls-Royce car each after their win against Argentina at the FIFA World Cup 2022. The reports further claimed that the crown prince and Prime Minister of the country Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud will present the players with the car after they returned from Qatar.
However, in a press interaction Saudi Arabia player Saleh Al-Shehri clarified that the reports are not true and said, "We are here to serve our country and do the best. That's our biggest achievement."
Following Saudi Arabia's historic win over Argentina at the FIFA World Cup the country went into a celebratory mood and the Prime Minister declared a public holiday in the country. Saleh Al-Shehri scored the World Cup 2022 opening goal for Saudi Arabia at the 48th minute of the match, after which Salem Al-Dawsari scored the second goal to take a lead over Argentina.
Media outlets including Mirror UK, Times Now, NDTV, News 24, Hindustan Times, WION News and Business Today carried the news report about each Saudi Arabia player receiving the car as a present; however, the reports did not mention the source of the information.
Daily Mirror's headline reads as, "Saudi Arabia's heroes are set to be rewarded with a Rolls Royce each after pulling off one of the all-time World Cup shocks to beat Argentina."
It is not true: Saleh Al-Shehri
BOOM ran a keywords search about KSA being gifted with luxury cars and found a news report published on Arab News on November 26, 2022.
The news outlet quoted Saleh Al-Shehri who refuted the rumours at a press interaction and clarified saying, "We are here to serve our country and do the best, so that's our biggest achievement."
The report carried a tweet by Goal Football's edition, exclusively for Saudi Arabia featuring the same video. Goal Football is an international association of football news website under the DAZN group, based in London, England. The video has a byte from the press interaction.
In the video KSA coach Herve Renard and Saleh can be seen. Upon being asked by journalist Andrew Dylan if the report on the reward of a Rolls-Royce car is true, Saleh says, "It's not true". He further adds, "We're here to serve our country and do the best. So that's our biggest achievement".
An excerpt from one of the report reads, "Renard said: "There is nothing true about this. We have a very serious federation and ministry of sport. It's not time to get something at this moment".
Tweeted as a joke by Pak user on November 22
Upon searching, BOOM was able to trace one of the oldest tweets about team KSA being gifted luxury cars to a Pakistani handle.
The user later shared a laugh emoji when asked about the tweet's veracity.
The same claim was also shared in a tweet by Indian author Suhel Seth on November 22, 2022.