#AFCON2021: Reported attack on Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar after Egypt game FALSE

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A video has emerged online suggesting that Vincent Aboubakar, skipper of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, was attacked after their game against Egypt in the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2021).

The video, which is circulating widely, claims that after the February 3 semi-final clash in which the host nation, Cameroon, lost to the Pharaohs of Egypt, irate Cameroonian fans thronged to the pitch and attacked the players.

Indeed, in the video, a man who appears to bear some resemblance to the Cameroonian skipper is seen oozing blood from his face and receiving some assistance from a lady wearing the jersey of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

The video has been shared by many notable social media handles including GH One’s Nana Aba Anamoah and Betty Yawson.

At the time of publishing this report, both of them had deleted the video from their Twitter handles.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the video and concludes that the claims in the video are false. Below is the explanation.

Vincent Aboubakar was seen ‘walking away’ after the game

Contrary to the claims by the video and posts on social media that Vincent Aboubakar was attacked and “nearly killed” after the game, the 30-year-old Al-Nassr striker was spotted by journalists after the game walking all alone and dragging along a piece of luggage without any blood or cut. The photos and videos shared by many different local and international media outlets show that the skipper was visibly not in a good mood after his side lost in a penalty shootout and so walked away from the press and media interviews.

Joy News’ George Addo Jnr who’s in Cameroon shared a video of Vincent walking away after the semi-final clash with Egypt.

Also, yesterday, February 5, two days after the said attack is claimed to have happened, skipper Vincent Aboubakar came from the bench to score a brace against Burkina Faso in the penultimate match of the AFCON tournament.

Video is unrelated to Cameroon-Egypt Semi-final clash

Beyond establishing that the man in the video could not be Vincent Aboubakar, Fact-Check Ghana proceeded to verify the video further and spotted some inconsistencies in it that further underscores the fact that it is false.

Digital LED not wooden boards

The opening scenes of the video shows teeming soccer fans rushing to the pitch while a voice not clearly audible spoke French translated to mean: “This is war…Cameroon, this is bad”. The translation attempts to suggest that indeed the incident happened in Cameroon and perhaps at the ongoing AFCON.

However, a critical look at the photo suggests that the football pitch is hedged by what appears to be wooden or plastic boards. The ongoing AFCON is being played in six different stadia comprising Olembé Stadium and Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, both in Yaoundé; Japoma Stadium in Douala, Roumdé Adjia Stadium in Garoua, and Bafoussam Stadium in Kouekong.

Checks by Fact-Check Ghana indicate that none of the stadia is hedged by wooden or plastic boards. All the stadia are hedged by digital LED boards that display brands of sponsors during matches.

Alexander Tcheu, a journalist working with the government-owned Cameroon Tribune, confirmed when Fact-Check Ghana sent the video to him for a comment.

“You can see the stadium. The stadium is not surrounded by boards in Cameroon. It is only electronic devices in Cameroon’s stadiums,” he said.

This, therefore, indicates that the opening scenes of the video are not related to the ongoing African Cup of Nations.

 Wounded man may be a victim of Olembe stadium stampede

The other scenes in the video show a woman attending to a man who’s wounded, with blood oozing from his face. The jersey the lady is wearing is the main kit of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the AFCON.

The kits were officially launched in December last year ahead of the tournament.  This suggests that the incident is very current.

A number of journalists who Fact-Check Ghana reached out to while verifying the video said the video of the wounded man may be related to the recent stampede that happened in Olembe stadium.

On Monday, January 24, before the round 16th match between Cameroon and Comoros, a stampede occurred at the entrance of the stadium gate. According to media reports, eight people died and scores were injured.

The journalists indicate that a number of videos of people who were dead or wounded and were receiving medical assistance following the stampede were circulated online.

“Maybe it is after the incident at Olembe Stadium,” Alexander Tcheu explained the part of the video where the woman was attending to the wounded man.

Reports indicate that some angry Cameroonian fans went on a rampage after the Indomitable Lions lost the game on penalty shootouts. However, this happened in the streets of Olembe, not on the football pitch, and no Cameroonian player was reported to have been attacked.

In conclusion, the video’s claim that Vincent Aboubakar was attacked after the semi-final match against Egypt is false. Also, the video is a product of two separate events put together for deception. The two events do not relate to the February 3 Cameroon-Egypt game.

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