The Leinster Senior League has confirmed that a football player who was reported dead in a road traffic accident is alive and well.
A number of clubs observed silences ahead of their games over the weekend after the league announced that Ballybrack FC player Fernando Nuno La-Fuente had died in a traffic accident.
The Dublin club’s game against Arklow Town on Saturday afternoon was postponed after it informed the league of the tragic death.
In a statement this afternoon however, the league said it had learned that the player was alive and well and had returned to his native Spain.
It said it was opening up an investigation into the matter, noting that it would deal with club through its own internal disciplinary procedures.
Condolences to everyone involved at Ballybrack FC on the tragic passing of their player making his way home from training on Thursday night. All at Rush Athletic express our deepest sympathies.
— Rush Athletic Senior (@RushAthleticFc) November 24, 2018
— CIE RANCH FC (@CieFc) November 24, 2018
"The Leinster Senior League acted in good faith at all times and, when notified by a representative of Ballybrack FC as to the death of a member player, we immediately offered our heartfelt condolences and also shared the sad news with all other LSL clubs, in order for them to offer their own individual condolences,” the league said in a statement.
"We are glad to hear that the player is in good health and has returned to his native Spain.
"The Leinster Senior League would like to offer their sincerest apologies for any distress caused as a result of notifying clubs as to the demise of a valued player.
"The league acted in absolute good faith with the information supplied by the club, and only had the welfare and interest of those affected by the reported 'tragedy' as our uppermost concern at all times."
This evening the club issued an apology “to the Leinster Senior League, our opponents Arklow Town FC and the host of clubs and football people who made contact with us or offered messages of support in recent days.”
“It has come to the attention of both the club, senior players and the management team that a gross error of judgement has occurred emanating from correspondence sent from a member of the senior set up management team to the Leinster Senior League,” it said.
“As of this evening an emergency meeting was held and the person in question has been relieved of all footballing duties, within Ballybrack FC, its senior team and roles within the club itself.
“The club has contacted Fernando to confirm his whereabouts, wellbeing and are thankful for his acceptance of our apology on this matter.”
The club noted that the “grave and unacceptable mistake was completely out of character and was made by a person who has been experiencing severe personal difficulties unbeknownst to any other members of the club.”
The statement, signed on behalf of the club’s senior football team, notes that it “to try work with all relevant organisations and agencies to learn from this mistake.”