By: Uzma Afreen
June 13 2023
The video shows the players waiting outside the residence of former Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, not current CM Siddaramaiah.
A video of a man questioning the lack of respect shown to the winners of the Santosh Trophy is going viral on social media with a claim that the newly-elected Chief Minister Siddaramaiah made the players wait outside his residence in the scorching heat. The video shows players in the Karnataka Football jersey waiting on the footpath with the winners’ trophy. The clip also includes an inset of a man lamenting the disrespect shown towards the players. “They were made to sit outside on the street with their trophy in the heat,” he says in the video.
Santosh Trophy is one of the football legacy events in India. An annual event started in 1941, the tournament sees participation from the various states and union territories, along with some government institutions like the Services and Railways.
This year, Karnataka emerged as the winner after defeating Meghalaya in the final match held on 4 March in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was a special win for the State as they earned back the winners’ title after 54 years.
We ran a keyword search on Karnataka players meeting the chief minister and came across reports stating that the Santosh Trophy final match was held on March 4, 2023. The players met Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on March 17, 2023. In March, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was still in power as the Congress party won the elections and came to power in May, and Siddaramaiah took oath as the CM on May 20, 2023. Therefore, the claim that the players were meeting a ‘new CM’ is incorrect.
Additionally, a reverse image search on the video of the man in the red jersey speaking to the camera revealed that this was posted by a YouTuber named Dhanraj Dhurve on his channel on June 8, 2023. Dhurve describes himself as “a Semi-Professional Footballer & licensed Coach have played in India & Abroad” and makes videos on football. In the longer video, Dhurve can be heard criticizing the government for not taking measures to promote football and help the players. However, he does not mention the name of the chief minister.
We reached out to Dhurve for a response. He replied, “This was totally taken wrong. I just spoke it for awareness that players are not getting good treatment and people are fighting over BJP Congress now (sic).”
He added that the source for his video was a Karnataka football team player who informed him about this incident last week. “This incident was in March, when Karnataka team won Santosh trophy in Saudi Arabia and BJP CM invited team to his house (sic),” he added.
In a tweet on June 12, Dhurve said, “Political parties using my video for their own agenda. That’s not right. I spoke in favour of football players not for any politics (sic).”
According to two reports in IB Times and Asianet News, the football team players had to wait outside Bommai’s home as their meeting with him was delayed. “It's not until a week later that the CM finally greets the team on Friday but not inside his official residence over a cup of tea but on the footpath outside his house,” IB Times report, dated March 18, 2023, stated.
The report also had an image of the players posing for a photograph with Bommai. We could identify some of the people from the video in this photograph. On Google Street View, we also cross-checked whether the players were waiting outside Bommai’s residence and found the residence resembled the one seen in the viral video.
We also came across a Twitter thread shared by journalist Manuja Veerappa, who had written the IB Times report, on March 17, 2023, stating that the sportspersons had to wait outside Bommai’s residence for more than an hour.
“Given a 15 minutes slot, the champion team stood outside the CM’s house for more than a hour, with the winner’s Trophy on the footpath,” Manuja wrote in the thread. We reached out to Manuja with the viral video and she clarified that it happened during Bommai’s regime.
An old video of Karnataka football players waiting outside former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in March 2023 has been shared as them waiting outside Siddaramaiah’s residence. Hence, we mark this claim as false.