World Cup 2022: TikTok infected millions with football fever

  • Read Farouk
  • Newsbeat reporter

Ben Black enjoying a tournament match


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Ben Black enjoying a tournament match

From how to pronounce the name of Bukayo Saka, the England football player, to careful analysis of matches and their results, social media provides us with a lot of content about the World Cup in Qatar.

Videos under the hashtag “FIFA World Cup Qatar” have received more than 12 billion views since the start of the tournament, according to TikTok statistics.

The France-England match in the quarter-final matches also got one million followers alone.

Follow-up is not limited to teams accounts only.

Ben Black follows every match from the stadium, after winning a competition organized by the host, on Tik Tok, and documents what he sees around him on his account on the social networking platform.

Since the start of the tournament, his clips, which he publishes on his account on the TikTok platform, have garnered more than 170 million views.

“It’s a massive number, and it shows a section of the football fan following what’s going on in the World Cup, which is very moving,” Black told the BBC.


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Alice is analyzing tournament matches from her home

Away from the stadiums, and from Qatar as a whole, Alice Abrahams follows the developments of the tournament, and provides an analysis of the matches through video clips that she prepares from her home in Britain.

“It’s a positive, good atmosphere,” says the 22-year-old. “I enjoyed the tournament more than Russia.”

“We respect each other”

As for Junior Pereira, who is 19 years old, the boycott has more than two million followers, thanks to the style of the dance music clips, but he confirms that he is not looking for views extensively.

“There is a kind of competition about who does it better, who gets more views and followers, but in the end we also try to do it in a way that shows our respect for each other,” he says.

“We talk about content and possible ideas, and we congratulate each other as well,” he added.

image copyright TIKTOK/LILJR_LTD

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Junior Pereira

But just like in football, not everything in TikTok goes to plan.

“There was a possibility in the group stage that Japan and Costa Rica could knock out Spain and Germany,” says Alice.

Pereira adds, “I think all content creators felt the same as us during these minutes.”

There were also many moments for Ben Black, in Doha, as he watched the Brazil and Cameroon match on the field, while wearing the Brazil shirt.

“All I saw around me were Cameroon fans, and I was the only one in the Brazil shirt, but they were hugging me, and we ended up celebrating together for 90 minutes,” he says.

The clip prepared by Black seemed to be completely unrelated to the match, but rather looked like “awkward moments” from his observations.


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Ben Black documents his observations in Qatar

Showing the positive aspects of the championship in Qatar seems to contradict the human rights issues that preceded it.

Alice admits that when she started covering the tournament, she had a “negative impression”.

Qatar has been criticized for its ban on homosexuality and its treatment of migrant workers.

And Alice adds, “But later I followed people like Ben, broadcasting from Qatar, filming clips from stadiums, and the events taking place.”

‘A fertile time for spreading lies online’

Marianna Spring Affairs reporter Check Rumors on the Internet

This World Cup was not less than others in terms of expectations and controversy at all, starting with the false allegations that Qatar paid fans to support the England national team, in addition to a number of other things.

I have identified and tracked a number of people who appeared in these clips, “they were said to be fake fans”, and I was able to talk to them, and I found them from India, Sri Lanka, and they live in Doha, and work there, and they told me, that they like to support their favorite teams, and attend matches, Their social media accounts corroborate these claims.

There is no single evidence to support the rumors that they received money to encourage the England national team, an accusation that was also rejected by the organizers, and despite that, the rumor is still circulating, especially on Tik Tok.

Perhaps that momentum prompts us to be careful, not to believe any claim without evidence, and to investigate the identity of the person who publishes the content, the time the clip was filmed, and all the matters surrounding it, before we re-publish any content.

It is about distinguishing fact from rumours, understanding what is happening and why, and for all of us to work together to clarify the facts about this complex tournament.

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