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SBD Global/July 17, 2017/International Football

Story About Countries Pressuring FIFA To Move 2022 WC Revealed To Be False

A "fake story claiming that six Arab countries had demanded that Qatar be stripped of the right" to host the 2022 World Cup was published on Saturday on a site "falsely purporting to be The Local Switzerland," according to THE LOCAL. The article claimed that Saudi Arabia and five other countries had sent a letter to FIFA calling Qatar a "base of terrorism." It also included "fabricated quotes" from FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in which he said that Qatar "might indeed be stripped of the hosting rights." The fake story was "widely reported" in the int'l press, with Reuters, the London Telegraph and ESPN "all running reports quoting The Local." However, "an investigation by The Local quickly revealed that the article had never in fact been published" on The Local. Instead, it "appeared on a site that aped The Local Switzerland" (THE LOCAL, 7/16).
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