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Fact Check-Fabricated Charlie Hebdo magazine cover shows Ukrainian fans defacing World Cup posters with Nazi symbols

Social media users have circulated a fabricated image that looks like the cover of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which appears to show a cartoon of Ukrainian soccer fans defacing a World Cup poster with Nazi symbols.

The image is dated Nov 24, 2022, and supposedly shows the cover of the 1,584th edition of the magazine.

A screenshot of the image shows what appears to be a Charlie Hebdo magazine cover with a cartoon of two soccer fans wearing Ukraine soccer team t-shirts defacing a World Cup poster with a Nazi slogan. In the foreground, two men in Arab dress hold a Ukrainian-to-Arabic dictionary and a speech bubble above them reads: “It’s something in Ukrainian.”

Examples of the image can be found (here) and (here).

The fabricated Charlie Hebdo cover circulated online after a fake Al Jazeera clip was shared on social media, which claimed that three drunken Ukrainian fans were arrested in Doha for defacing posters with Nazi symbols (here). Reuters found no credible news reports to support the claims.

Social media users shared the fabricated Charlie Hebdo magazine cover online, claiming that the French magazine released it as a special edition following the “recent incident in Doha.”

Charlie Hebdo did not publish such a special edition. The latest edition as of Nov 30, viewable via the Charlie Hebdo website, is the 1,584th edition, which does not feature the above cover (charliehebdo.fr/editions/1584/), (here) archived (archive.ph/wip/TY9F7).

The magazine did release a special edition to mark the World Cup, with a cover that shows skeletons playing football (here).

A search of Charlie Hebdo’s website did not show the fabricated cover (archive.ph/wip/SAAcJ), (archive.ph/wip/R7BRE).

A search of Charlie Hebdo’s November archive also does not reveal any such edition (charliehebdo.fr/2022/11/).

Archives of Charlie Hebdo’s homepage saved in November do not show the fabricated cover (here), (here).

A Twitter advanced search using key words via Charlie Hebdo’s official account (@Charlie_Hebdo_) also does not reveal the fabricated frontpage (archive.ph/wip/JwL55).

The Ukraine national football team is not competing in the World Cup in Qatar, having failed to qualify after being defeated in June by Wales (here).

The image is an example of imposter content, which refers to an image or clip that mimics a legitimate organization to push a false or misleading claim or narrative (here).

Representatives for Charlie Hebdo and FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

VERDICT

False. Charlie Hebdo did not publish a cartoon depicting Ukrainian soccer fans defacing a World Cup poster. The image was fabricated and an example of imposter content.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.

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