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No, photo doesn’t show footballer Steven Gerrard ignoring a young Mateo Kovačić

The photo has been doing the rounds on Facebook in many African countries since at least 2017.

Posted again on 28 October 2019, it shows a young boy running alongside professional footballer Steven Gerrard, looking up into his face. Gerrard appears to be ignoring the boy.

The caption reads: “A young Mateo Kovacic, asking to shake Gerrard's hand when he was still a ball boy in Croatia, but Gerrard ignored him which broke Kovacic's heart and he was in tears after the incident. Today, that ball boy now plays for Chelsea. Nobody knows tomorrow, just be kind to people.”

Today, Gerrard manages the Rangers football club in the Scottish Premiership. Croatian footballer Kovačić plies his trade in the English Premier League for Chelsea.

But does the photo really show Gerrard ignoring a young Kovačić? We checked.

Young Greek football fan

Using a Google reverse image search, Africa Check found the photo in the Getty Images stock collection. It was shot on 23 November 2000 in Athens, Greece by Clive Brunskill, for Allsport.

Here the caption reads: “Steven Gerrard of Liverpool shows his dejection to a young Greek fan after Liverpool conceded a last minute equalizer in the UEFA Cup third round first leg match between Olympiakos and Liverpool.”

The boy in the photo is a young Greek football fan. He is not Kovačić. – Azil Momar Lo


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