The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 commences on Saturday, January 13 in Ivory Coast. Ahead of the tournament, claims suggesting that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has penalized the Ivory Coast national team for misconduct ahead of the tournament have emerged on Facebook (See here and here)
The posts include a photo of two players in training kits who appear to be fighting on the pitch as others apparently attempt to intervene.
At the time of writing, one of the posts had garnered 51 likes, 574 shares and 2,700 comments.
Fact-Check Ghana has verified the post and presents the facts below.
Claim: Ivory Coast has suffered a 4-point deduction even before the kickoff of the tournament for misconduct (players fighting).
VERDICT: Completely False
Explanation: Results from a reverse image search of the photos showed that they were taken by photographer Sia Kambou on June 12, 2013 for the AFP through Getty Images.
The caption accompanying the photos when they were originally published was: ‘’Ivory Coast’s national football team players Gossio Gossio (L) and Abdul Razak (2ndL) fight during a training session on June 12, 2013 at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Tanzania. AFP PHOTO / SIA KAMBOU (Photo credit should read SIA KAMBOU/AFP via Getty Images)’’.
Thus, the photo was taken about 10 years ago and does not relate to the 2023 AFCON tournament.
The two players engaged in the scuffle in 2013, Jean-Jacques Gosso and Abdul Razak, are not part of Cote d’Ivoire’s 27-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations 2024.
Also, CAF has not issued any statement or sanction regarding the Ivory Coast team for the 2023 AFCON tournament, which starts on Saturday, January 13, 2024, with an opening fixture between the Elephants of Ivory Coast and the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea.