An Irish soccer team has issued a grovelling apology after it faked a player's death to get a league match postponed.
Ballybrack FC, an amateur soccer club in Dublin, told the Leinster Senior League that Fernando Nuno La-Fuente had died in a motorbike accident on Friday, November 23.
The league postponed Ballybrack's match against Arklow Town, organised a one minute silence before the kick off of other league matches, and published a death notice in an Irish newspaper to offer its "heartfelt condolences" to the La-Fuenta family and all at Ballybrack, the BBC reports.
Liffey Wanderers FC was one of the teams to observe a minute's silence before a match and even posted a photograph of the moment on its Facebook account.
But Fuente was not dead at all, so it was not long before Ballybrack backtracked.
On Tuesday, the club said the management team made "a gross error of judgment" and that the person in question had been "relieved of all footballing duties," according to a statement posted on the club's Facebook page.
But La-Fuente saw the funny side. "I was playing some video games and suddenly I got a call from work and they said 'You're a celebrity.' That's how I found out that I was dead," he told RTE 1 radio on Wednesday.
La-Fuente said he always knew something was amiss as the club had contacted him beforehand to tell him to ignore any forthcoming statement from the Leinster Senior League that might claim he had "an accident."
He was expecting fake news of an injury like a leg break, so when he heard he had died, he wrote to the league to say he was actually alive. "They wrote straight back and apologised," he said.
La-Fuente, who recently moved to Galway and cannot play for Ballybrack anymore, said he did not believe the team was afraid of playing Arklow but probably having "a rough time getting players."
La-Fuente said his wife had "some Facebook fuss" and he called his mother "because she didn't know anything."
He added: "I find it a little bit funny because I am not dead and no one has actually been harmed."