False: Messi’s face on Argentine banknote

Recently, A claim that Argentina’s central bank has proposed featuring pictures of Lionel Messi and the World Cup-winning team on its currency. Some have even said that Argentine bank is featured Lionel Messi and the World Cup-winning team on their currency.

Several media publications have reported on the claim, including The Sun and Daily Mail from the UK, The Hindu, India Times from India, Prothom alo, Jugantor & Jamuna Television from Bangladesh.

The claim has gone viral across social media. Some claim circulating on Facebook and Twitter can be seen here, here, and here.
Archived versions of those posts can be seen here, here and here.  

Factcheck

To find out the authenticity of the viral claim, Rumor Scanner conducted keyword searches and spoke to a journalist from Argentina.

A keyword search led us to a report published by Bloomberg Línea on December 22, titled “Bill with the figure of Messi: Argentine authorities deny that it is under consideration” 

According to the report, sources from the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) and the mint, Casa de la Moneda dismissed the possibility that progress could be made with the printing of a bill with the figure of the captain of the world champion team. 

In the report, they spoke to Argentina’s central bank and the Casa de la Moneda (Mint) to confirm that the issue of printing notes with Messi’s image is not true. 

Bloomberg Línea wrote in the spanish language report, translated via Google, “In the last few hours, a rumor began to circulate that the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) was considering launching new banknotes with the figure of Lionel Messi. But as Bloomberg Línea was able to find out, none of this is true.

BCRA sources ruled out that the option of putting the image of the captain of the Argentine National Team on the notes is even being studied. In Casa de la Moneda (mint) they were also surprised by the consultation of this medium regarding whether it could be a possibility. In both cases, in fact, they humorously took the version before dismissing it outright.”

During the subsequent search, a fact-check report on the claim was found in the Argentinian fact-checking site Chequeado, published on December 22, titled “It is false that the Central Bank proposed that the image of Messi appear on $1000 bills”

Whereas Chequeado identified the viral claim as false. Checqueado communicated with the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) press sector from where they indicated that ”there is no information about this supposed 1000 peso bill in tribute to Messi.’

So, according to the Argentine fact-checking organisation Chequeado the claim is false. 

Boom, an India-based fact-checking site also published a fact-check report on the claim, along with a statement from Argentina’s central bank authority. 

BOOM reached out to Fernando Alonso, Senior Manager of Communications and Community Relations at the BCRA, who rubbished the viral claims, calling them “fake.” Speaking to BOOM, Alonso said, “There is no truth in this,” and further added, “This topic is not on the work agenda.”

Fan-made fake 1000 peso mock-up with Messi’s photo has gone viral

The claim is accompanied by an image of a note featuring the image of Lionel Messi and the world cup winning team. However, this is not an image of a real banknote. Although we are yet to find the source of the viral mockup note, we found an image of another fan-made note with Messi’s photo and signature that was tweeted on December 18, the day of the World Cup final.

While the proposal to issue a note with Lionel Messi’s image is not certain, it is easy to confirm that these viral notes photo are not real.

How was the misinformation originated?

Argentina-based business daily ‘El Cronista’ was among the first to published a report on the claim, on December 19.

In reference of Argentine financial journalist Ignacio Olivera Doll, they wrote, “Thursday’s meeting gave room to make jokes about the possibility of issuing a commemorative ticket for the national team.The most enthusiastic directors, such as Lisandro Cleri, a fervent supporter of Boca, and Eduardo Hecker, a follower of Independiente, agreed that a banknote with this design would awaken the collecting spirit of Argentines.”

So, according to reports, the possibility of a ticket was jokingly discussed.

Later, we contacted Argentine financial journalist Ignacio Oliveira Doll, who provided this information to ‘El Cronista’. Although he stood by his sources, he denied issuing the tickets with Messi’s photo.

When we asked about the matter, Ignacio Oliveira Doll said, “It is false that the issuance of a Messi ticket has been launched. But the note we got is correct.”

Within some time after El Cronista’s report was published, Mexican media outlet El Fienciero published a similar report on the same date. The headline of the report published by El Fienciero is, “Will we have a thousand-peso bill with Messi’s face for the Argentine title?”

Later on, the claim went viral on social media and several media outlets around the world published reports in reference to El Financiero.

Therefore, the claim of the central bank of Argentina to print notes with image of Messi and the World Cup winning team is false.

Sources

  1. Chequeado’s fact-Check 
  2. Bill with the figure of Messi: Argentine authorities deny that it is under consideration” – BloomuLínea
  3. Statement of Argentine journalist Ignacio Oliveira Doll
RS Team
Rumor Scanner Fact-Check Team
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