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Fact Check-Video shows Texas football stadium in 2019, not Kabul Airport in 2021

A video showing floods of people rushing into a building is being labelled as Kabul Airport, the scene of chaotic evacuation efforts following the Taliban takeover of Kabul. However, the video shows fans entering the AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas, home to the NFL team the Dallas Cowboys, in January 2019.

Social media users are sharing the video with captions including, “Kabul airport this morning” (posted Aug. 17) (here); “surreal footage from Kabul airport as soon as it opened this morning – Afghanistan” (posted Aug. 16) (here); and “Where is the UN […] Why aren’t all nations coming together to help them. This is so sad. #Afghanistan […] #KabulHasFallen #KabulFalls #kabulairport” (here).

The original video was posted on Twitter by journalist Jon Machota, (here) who covers the Dallas Cowboys for The Athletic. The post, from January 2019, can be seen here . Machota explains in the caption that the video shows the stadium doors opening for an NFL game: “AT&T Stadium doors have opened for Cowboys vs. Seahawks.” Machota’s video was shared at the time by Sports Illustrated (here).

Machota told Reuters via email that he recorded the video. He said he shot it “as the doors were opened to fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas before the Cowboys vs. Seahawks NFL wild-card playoff game on Jan. 5, 2019.”

The game was an NFL wild-card playoff game and the Dallas Cowboys had not won a game in the postseason in four years ( here , here ).

The higher quality video posted by Machota clearly shows a shop selling sports merchandise in the bottom left-hand corner and a sign on the post on the right-hand side of the video with stadium stand numbers.

Local news outlet, The Dallas Morning News, published similar videos in Sept. 2019 (here) and Jan. 2017 (here) showing fans rushing into the AT&T stadium, where the entrance, merchandise shop and signs match the video shared by Machota.

The AT&T stadium’s high glass entrance with the row of doors in the middle, visible in the video, can be seen in images of the stadium interior available on Google Street view (bit.ly/2XFRL3M), and photos of the exterior posted on the stadium’s Instagram page here and here .

In comparison, Reuters and Getty Images photos of the entrances to the Hamid Karzai International Airport ( here , here , here ) show that they do not have glass that is more than two stories high like the social media videos show.

Reuters coverage of scenes at Kabul airport can be seen here , here and here . See the latest Reuters reporting on Afghanistan here .

Reuters has recently debunked several other claims related to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan ( here , here , here ).

VERDICT

Miscaptioned. The video shows fans rushing into the AT&T sports stadium in Texas in 2019, not Kabul airport in August 2021.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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