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SATIRE: This screengrab of a broadcast claiming that Arsenal asked DP Ruto to secure the football club a loan is sarcastic

The screengrab appears to be among a churn of humorous memes related to the Gunners’ perceived intention to sign Messi.

Syndicated Story By PesaCheck.

A screenshot of a broadcast claiming that English premiership club Arsenal sought Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto’s help in securing a ’50 billion loan’ from Equity Bank to sign Lionel Messi is SATIRICAL.

The screengrab that was shared on Facebook shows a close-up of Ruto making a phone call with a ‘Breaking News’ ticker running across the lower third of the screen. The top left corner of the screen indicates a ‘live’ programme, but there is no station identity for the channel broadcasting the news.

The text running below the ticker reads, “Arsenal seek Ruto’s help in securing a 50bn loan from Equity Bank to help sign Messi”.

reverse image search of the screengrab shows that the picture was taken at his Harambee Annex office on 9 April 2019.

The claim emerged at the height of speculations about which football club the Argentinian star would join following his exit from FC Barcelona.

Barcelona’s president Joan Laporta explained that Messi’s departure complied with the La Liga’s fair play regulations, making it impossible for the Catalan club to sign the player to a new contract.

One article by predicted that Arsenal could finally make Messi’s transfer dream come true 18 years after the scouting mission.

“Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has previously claimed that he tried to sign Messi back in 2003,” read the article.

It appears to be against this backdrop that bore the churn of humorous memes related to the Gunners perceived desire to sign Messi, here and here.

The screengrab in question was also shared by other social media users, including here, here and here.

However, on 11 August 2021, Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after signing a two year contract.

PesaCheck has looked into the screenshot of a broadcast shared on Facebook claiming to show that Arsenal sought Deputy President William Ruto’s help in securing a ’50 billion loan’ from Equity Bank to help sign Lionel Messi, and finds it to be SATIRICAL.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information on PesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.

This fact-check was written by PesaCheck fact-checker Simon Muli and edited by PesaCheck chief copy editor Rose Lukalo.

The article was approved for publication by managing editor Enock Nyariki.

PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water / sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit

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PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watchdog organisations.

Kamadi Amata
I am a digital content creator with niche in Health, politics, and Human Interest Features.

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