A football team of amateurs in Ireland ended up at the center of controversy for having faked the death of one of its players in order to postpone a match.

Ballybrack FC should have played against Arklow Town in the Irish Leinster Senior League, but the game was postponed after Ballybrack representatives announced that one of the club’s foreign players, Spaniard Fernando Nuno la Fuente, had died in a terrible road accident.

Spaniard Fernando Nuno la FuenteThe entire league was shocked by the news, and mourning hit everyone: there were minutes of silence before the start of all the other matches, the players wore black bracelets in memory of La Fuente, and some teams expressed their condolences on social media. 

But the shock of the player’s death was nothing compared to the shock that everyone had when it was discovered that La Fuente had not actually died, but had simply returned to Spain.

League officials have discovered that the alleged death of Fernando Nuno la Fuente was an excuse to postpone the game. Things came to the fore when the League got in touch with the La Fuente club to see if there was anything they could do to help, and to have contact with the family to get their condolences. However, Ballybrack’s responses generated many suspicions. At first the team claimed that the body had been buried in Spain, the player’s home country, but it was strange because it was too soon for this alleged burial.

In the end, Ballybrack FC officials had no choice but to admit the truth: La Fuente was fine, and he simply returned to Spain. The team apologised, and the club secretary resigned, although it was not clear whose idea it as to announce the player’s death to postpone the game.

ballybrackFernando Nuno la Fuente was later joined by journalists, and admitted that someone in his former club had told him that he could hear news of him involved in an accident. But he also added that he thought “accident” meant something minor, not death. “I thought they would have said that I had broken my leg or something,” he explained.

According to the player, the reason for the desire to postpone the game was above all logistic, because the other players had problems playing that day. “They don’t play football professionally. Most of them have a normal job and some of them work in the UK [the team is Irish]. I think this was the problem. It was nothing important.”