The Leinster Senior Football League is making headlines around the world today after Ballybrack FC falsely reported that one of their players died in a car accident last week in order to get a game postponed.
In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, Ballybrack wrote that Fernando LaFuente had “passed away Friday morning after a tragic accident on Thursday night.”
As a result, a minute silence was observed right through the entire league to pay tribute to the Spanish national.
That's Liffey Wanderers holding a minute's silence for a player Ballybrack FC said had died in a car crash but was actually alive and well in Spain. pic.twitter.com/uF0ofGILg1
— PJ Browne (@P_J_Browne) November 27, 2018
Ballybrack informed the league that the player’s body had been returned to Spain, however it was soon discovered that the player was actually alive and well, and living in Ireland.
The club tried to backtrack on their earlier claims, releasing a statement of their own apologising for the ‘grave’ mistake.
“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. The club will continue to provide a duty of care to all parties and offer the support that may be needed at this time. This person had previously contributed greatly to the senior team within the club in recent years and to the wider footballing community across Dublin for decades.”
LaFuente was actually relocated to Galway by his employers, Glofox, who have now released a statement of their own confirming that LaFuente is indeed ‘alive and well’, and living in the west of Ireland.
“Fernando is still employed by Glofox and still living in Galway.
“Fernando was completely unaware of the false statement made in relation to his association with Ballybrack Football Club. He only learned of the false statement over the past few days through social media.”
— Damien O'Meara (@damien_omeara) November 28, 2018
The player in question, Fernando La Fuente, has now broken his silence on the matter. Speaking to Sean O’Rourke on RTE this morning he admitted that the club had contacted him beforehand, but never mentioned they planned to fake his death.
“I was aware there was going to be some story on me but I thought it was going to be me breaking a leg or something like that,” he said.
“I was home yesterday after my work finished. I was playing some video games. They told me, ‘you’re a celebrity.’ They started sending me all these news articles and mass media. And that’s how I found out I was dead.”
The Spaniard seems to be taking the whole situation in his stride. He knows the seriousness of the matter at hand, but he does see the funny side too it.
“It’s serious on their part but I’m finding it a little bit funny. Because basically, I’m not dead. And no one was harmed here.” He said.