By Marvellous Fatu and Rejoice Taddy
Claim: A Facebook user shared an Image of five footballers sitting on what seems like the side of a football field on a rainy day. Two of the players used the stadium seats to shade themselves. The poster claimed that the picture was taken in Nigeria.
Verdict: False! The picture has no relation to Nigerian football.
Football is a game that many around the world are emotionally attached to, so often, any news related to it, whether local, national, or international, tends to grab a lot of attention and reactions.
On October 31, 2023, a Facebook user posted a picture of five footballers on the bench. In the picture, two of the players used chairs to shield themselves.
The caption that followed this post read; “ Nigeria is such a joke. Is anyone forcing you to do Football if you think you don’t have the means? Below is the picture of alleged Nigerian club players using seats as shade.”
Furthermore, Prime Progress moved to see that interaction of this post and found some comments that seemed to affirm what that claim stated.
Gu La Va, for instance, said, “ Then they compare themselves to the mighty RSA.
Aquaboh De Ranking, another person, also said, “ Nigeria is a disgrace to Africa.”
Gabaldon Nutmegger also said, “ Big for nothing country with loud keyboard warriors on social media.”
The post at the time had 3,000 likes, 881 comments, and 15 shares.
Having gone through the comments, Prime Progress decided to delve deep to scrutinize the image and see if it correlates with the claim attached to it.
To verify the claim, we started by examining the picture. Even though we couldn’t see the faces of the players, we observed that the name of one player, G. Sanjase, wearing jersey number 16 and dressed in a goalkeeper’s kit, was visible.
We then searched the name on Transfermarkt.com, one of the biggest football-related websites in the world, housing information such as scores, player details, results, statistics, transfer news, and fixtures of most leagues across the globe.
The result led us to Gregory Sanjese, who plays for the Zambian Club, Kansashi Dynamos FC and had recently joined them from Zesco United on a free transfer.
We then checked the club’s recent features to see if they had been in Nigeria for a match recently. We looked through their matches since January 2019, and the team had not been in Nigeria for a match.
So far, we have confirmed that the footballers on the bench are players of the Zambian club, Kansashi Dynamos FC. However, we still dug deeper to determine the location of when the image was captured.
To do that, we used Google reverse Image search, which led us to a post on Instagram by a popular radio station, Hot Fm Zambia, which had the same picture but with a different narrative.
The post, which was made on October 29, two days before the Facebook claim was made, said that the image was taken during the MTN Super League, Zambian Premier League’s top flight at Edwin Emboela Stadium in Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka.
More description for the purpose of the post said;
“How expensive is it to build substitute bench a stand at a so called stadium which is being used by two big clubs in the super division. Matches played at this pitch are even being televised on SuperSport what message are we sending out there? How do we grow our football with such facilities? How hard is it for Football house FAZ to direct the clubs to work of the stand?”
“Players and technical bench have to endure the heat and now rain and the world is watching. If we want to have strong and reliable teams to represent us at continental level we need to start from our facilities. With these visuals out there we can not attract interests from quality players in the region. And our league ranks will keep dropping,” The post read as it closed.
From all indications, the description attached to this image did not have anything to do with the Nigerian club but was that of Zambia.
After putting all the sources together, we summed it up that the people in the Image are Zambian players.