Soccer Player Goes to South Africa for ‘Love Island’ Reality Show Without Telling Team

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Oxford City FC soccer player Finn Tapp on the set of "Love Island"

Oxford City FC will be down a defender when it takes on Braintree Town on Saturday. That’s because Finn Tapp flew off to South Africa to compete on the British reality show “Love Island”—and didn’t tell anybody at the club. 

Tapp, 20, was one of two guys introduced to the show on Wednesday to spice things up. The premise of the show is that a bunch of men and women share a space in some tropical locale and are supposed to couple up with each other. Anybody without a mate gets kicked out. The last couple standing gets £50,000. Tapp (going by his full name, Finley) and another guy named Connor were added to cast this week to throw off the gender balance. 

That certainly sounds more exciting than playing for a team currently in 13th place in the sixth tier of English football. It may also be more lucrative. Oxford City is only semi-professional and his bio on the “Love Island” website lists his primary occupation as a recruitment consultant. 

Tapp is one of only five defenders listed on Oxford City’s senior roster, but the team doesn’t seem too upset to have lost him to the reality show. On Twitter, the club jokingly phrased his departure as going on loan. 

Tapp might not have been able to play this weekend even if he hadn’t left for the Southern Hemisphere. In last weekend’s game against Dartford, he was taken off the field on a stretcher after a clash of heads.