An Irish soccer club has issued an apology for a "gross error of judgment" after it was reported the club falsely stated a player of theirs died last week, reports RTE Sport.
Ballybrack FC was supposed to play Arklow Town on Saturday afternoon but the game was postponed after the club informed the Leinster Senior League that its player, Spanish native Fernando Nuno La Fuente, had died in a traffic accident on Thursday evening.
A moment of silence was held at Leinster Senior League games over the weekend.
But the league learned the player was not dead, but rather back in Spain.
As reports swirled and a Leinster chairman confirmed a team member resigned, Ballybrack issued a statement. The club called the false reporting of the player's death as a "grave and unacceptable mistake."
The club said it contacted the player who accepted the apology. Ballybrack also apologized to the Leinster league and Arklow.
The Leinster Senior League also issued a statement on the issue.
The Leinster Senior League had previously told RTE Sport that the club's story started unraveling Monday. According to RTE, the player went back to Spain a few weeks ago. The League said it called the club, wanting to show sympathies but that he was sent back to Spain on Saturday, which was only a day after the alleged death. The league said it couldn't get answers from the club.
"We don't honestly know why they did it," league chairman David Moran told RTE. "It seems a bit extreme to do something like that to get a game off. All they had to say was they were giving a walkover and they'll get their fine and that's the end of it."