AN INVESTIGATION is to be launched after an Irish soccer club’s claim that one of their players died in a car crash turned out to be false.
Dublin’s Ballybrack FC of the Leinster Senior League (LSL) has tonight claimed the matter was ‘a gross error of judgement’, adding that the person responsible had been relieved of their duties.
The announcement saw the club’s game against Arklow Town on Saturday postponed, while a minute’s silence was held before all other LSL games last weekend.
The episode began last Friday when a Ballybrack representative told the LSL that Spanish player Fernando Nuno La Fuente had died the night before in a traffic accident.
However the LSL, which published a notification of the player’s death in a paper, has today confirmed that La Fuente is ‘in good health’.
He is believed to have returned to Spain several weeks ago.
The LSL issued a statement today saying they acted in good faith and will now launch an investigation.
'In good health'
“We are glad to hear that the player is in good health and has returned to his native Spain,” said the LSL in a statement.
“The Leinster Senior League will co-operate with all relevant agencies in the investigation of this matter and the league will also deal with this issue through their own internal disciplinary procedures.
“The Leinster Senior League would like to offer their sincerest apologies for any distress caused as a result of notifying clubs as to the demise of a valued player.
“The league acted in absolute good faith with the information supplied by the club and only had the welfare and interest of those affected by the reported ‘tragedy’ as our uppermost concern at all times.”
'Grave and unacceptable mistake'
In a statement this evening, Ballybrack said they had been in touch with La Fuente to apologise.
“This grave and unacceptable mistake was completely out of character and was made by a person who has been experiencing severe personal difficulties unbeknownst to any other members of the club,” said the statement.
It added: “At this stage we can only offer our sincere apologies to the Leinster Senior League, our opponents Arklow Town FC and the host of clubs and football people who made contact with us or offered messages of support in recent days.”