A Spanish soccer player whose former club in Ireland faked his death in an apparent bid to avoid a match has said he learned of his demise from work colleagues.
Fernando LaFuente said he had no role in the ruse attempted by the club in Dublin, Ballybrack FC.
The club has apologized for a “gross error of judgment” after falsely reporting that Mr LaFuente had died in a traffic accident on the way home from training last week.
Ballybrack’s game against Arklow Town on Saturday was postponed, while other teams in the Leinster Senior League held a minute’s silence in honour of the amateur player.
The league also posted a notice of his death in a newspaper before it was discovered that Mr LaFuente was actually alive and well.
Mr LaFuente moved to Galway a number of months ago. He said the club had told him they might claim that he had an accident as a way of avoiding playing the game against Arklow.
He said he only learned that his death had been faked on Tuesday night. “I was aware there was going to be some story on me but I thought it was going to be me breaking a leg,” he told Ireland’s RTE news.
“I was home yesterday after my work finished. I was playing some video games. Suddenly I got a call from work and they said what’s happened. 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.” Mr LaFuente said the club has since apologised to him.