Soon after, two photos were posted on Facebook by a Nigerian user, with the claim they showed the injury. The post was flagged as possibly false by the social network’s fact-checking system.
The first photo shows a leg bent at a horrific angle, with blood coming from the bend. The second is a close-up of a badly bruised ankle, the bones bulging against the skin.
“This is the reason for Son red card. Wish Gomes quick recovery,” the post reads. Son was given a red card after the tackle, which was later overturned.
The photos have also been published on a website. But do they really show Gomes’s injured leg? We unbandaged the claim.
Grey shorts and a white shoe?
A Google search using the keywords “André Gomes injury” brings up many photos of the incident taken by the mainstream press. But none of them show the injury up close.
In the first photo posted on Facebook, the man with the bent leg is wearing grey shorts, with a white running shoe on his left foot. A Yandex reverse image search reveals that the photo has been frequently shared on Twitter with the claim it shows the injury to Gomes.
But the person in the photo isn’t wearing the Everton uniform, which has white shorts. And when he was injured, Gomes was wearing lime green football boots.
As Twitter user Frank Rainer pointed out, it would have been odd for Gomes to change his clothes and shoes before he was treated for the injury.
“For starters, not footie socks or shoes on the other foot. Doubt they'd have gone through the trouble of replacing his shoes/socks with other ones,” he wrote.
Blue basketball shoes, tweeted in 2018
A Yandex search of the second photo brings up year-old tweet dated 18 November 2018. It shows the photo, and another that’s clearly of the same foot. In both photos, “Bi53” is written on the foot, and the floor in the background is the same.
The injured person is wearing a blue basketball shoe. The markings on the floor in both images look like those of a basketball or other indoor court. This evidence suggests the injury did not happen during a soccer match.
Given that two images in the Facebook post show the injured person wearing different coloured shorts and shoes, and one was tweeted a year before the football match in which Gomes was injured, it is clear the photos do not show the footballer’s injury. – Vincent Ng’ethe
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