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Fact Check: Unrelated Visuals Viral With False Claims That Indian Football Team Qualified For FIFA WC 2026

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A post showing two images claiming the Indian football team has qualified for the 2026 FIFA World Cup is widely circulated on social media. Many users claim it to be true and are celebrating the team’s qualification.

A Facebook user posted the viral post with the following captions:
INDIA QUALIFIES FOR WORLDCUP #football
LET’S FOOTBALL GROW UP India
💪💪

You can check the post here.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the viral post, and found it to be false.

Had the Indian football team qualified for the FIFA World Cup, it would have made headlines immediately in major media outlets. Running a Reverse Image Search of the two images in the post, our team found the results given below. 

Image 1:
An image on Getty Images, dated October 15, 2019, with a title: India vs Bangladesh — World Cup 2022 Qualifying Match. As per the image description, Indian supporters were waving a banner during the World Cup 2022 and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifying football match between India and Bangladesh at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan stadium in Kolkata. 

Image 2:
Image on the official channel of the Indian Football Team, dated June 15, 2022. As per its caption, the picture was clicked after Indian team qualified for the finals of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. The team defeated Hong Kong by 4-0 in Kolkata to finish at the top of the standings in Group D. 

According to Google News, India is currently playing in the second round of the qualifiers, which will go on till June 2024, followed by rounds three, four, and five till November 2025. So, it is too early to say whether India has qualified for the World Cup or not. 

Given that both the pictures predate the ongoing qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2026, the post cannot be related to the Indian team qualifying for the tournament. Therefore, we can conclusively say that the viral post is fake.

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