LAHORE: A photo that has been shared thousands of times on Facebook appears to show three of the world’s top footballers handing Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan a large cheque, purportedly to help build two new hydroelectric dams. The claim is false and the image has been doctored from an original photograph posted on Khan’s official Twitter account.
The photograph has been repeatedly posted on Facebook, for example here where it has been shared more than 1,000 times since it was published January 25, 2019.
The post’s caption says: “The great players of the football world present a blank cheque to Prime Minister Imran Khan for dam fund and express nobel wishes for Pakistan.”
The image appears to show three famous football players, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr posing for a photo while handing over a large cheque to Khan.
But the photo has been doctored from an original, which was posted on Khan’s official twitter account on December 31, 2018.
PM Imran Khan has appreciated generous contribution and donations of the overseas Pakistanis in Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams fund.
— Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) December 31, 2018
The original photo shows a delegation of expatriate Pakistanis from Dubai presenting a contribution for the dam fund.
The tweet says: “PM Imran Khan has appreciated generous contribution and donations of the overseas Pakistanis in Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams fund. He was talking to a delegation of overseas Pakistanis from Dubai, who called on him in Islamabad and presented a cheque of $918,510 for #DamFund.”
The image was also published by the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan and can be seen on their website here.
Below is side by side comparison of the original and fake photographs:
Some Facebook users expressed skepticism about the doctored image.
“Look at Messi’s belly,” one comment read.