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Video shows fans singing Indonesian football chant at U-23 Asian Cup match, not takbir

Footage of Indonesian fans cheering on their national team ahead of the Under-23 Asian Cup third place playoff has been altered in social media posts to make it look like they chanted "God is greatest". The fans were in fact chanting "Let's go, Indonesia". The audio was lifted from a different video of Indonesian supporters that circulated nearly six years earlier.

"Like they would go to jihad! Indonesian supporters chanting takbir at the Khalifa Stadium ahead of Indonesia vs Iraq," read the Indonesian-language title of a YouTube video shared on May 2, 2024.

The video, which has more than 100,000 views, appears to show Indonesian football fans chanting "Allahuakbar wa lillah ilhamd" ("God is greatest and all praises are only for God").

The words are a declaration of faith known as the takbir.

The video's narrator says: "Chanting the takbir, tens of thousands of Indonesian supporters packed Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium to support the Indonesian national team against Iraq."

Indonesia played Iraq in the third-place playoff at the Under-23 Asian Cup in Qatar on May 2 (archived link).

Iraq won the match 2-1 to book their spot at the Olympic Games football tournament alongside finalists Japan and Uzbekistan.

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Similar videos racked up more than three million views on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and short-video platform SnackVideo.

Comments on the posts suggest some users had been misled.

"God Bless, incredible, Indonesia will definitely win,' said one user.

Another said: "God protect the national team to win against Iraq, Amen O God."

However, the footage was edited to insert audio from a different clip.

Indonesian chant

A keyword search on Instagram found a similar video posted by an Instagram account called Marragam Chanel on April 25, 2024 (archived link).

The video shows the same visuals in the altered video, but the supporters are instead chanting: "Go... let's go, let's go Indonesia, we have to win, I want to win!"

Below is a screenshot comparison between the altered video (left) and the Instagram video (right):

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A subsequent keyword search on YouTube found a clip showing supporters chanting the takbir used in the altered video (archived link).

The video, which was posted on June 15, 2018, shows fans of Indonesian club PSIS Semarang (archived link).

The clip is titled: "Takbir chant in the Snex stand".

Snex refers to the club's fans and stands for Supporter Semarang Extreme (archived link)

A livestream of the match on the Asian Football Confederation's official YouTube channel showed no audible chanting of the takbir (archived link).

AFP has debunked other fact checks related to the Under-23 Asian Cup here.

May 15, 2024 This story was amended to replace references to the Asian Cup with the Under-23 Asian Cup