Ballybrack FC officials admit to “not grasping the full impact” of fake death scandal
Bit of an understatement, perhaps.
Ballybrack FC officials have admitted to “not grasping the full impact of the incident” in which a player was falsely reported as dead in an effort to lead to the cancellation of a recent fixture in the Leinster Senior League.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days, you’ll have heard of the tale of Fernando Nuno La-Fuente, a Spanish native who once played for Ballybrack FC and who was reported as dead ahead of a fixture against Arklow Town, a fixture which was subsequently cancelled as a result.
Thankfully, it subsequently emerged that Fernando was alive and well and living in Galway, but only after tributes were paid to his memory in the form of a minute’s silence and the wearing of black armbands by a number of rival clubs in the Leinster Senior League last weekend.
Ballybrack FC released a statement on the matter on Tuesday night, in which the club acknowledged that a “gross error of judgement has occurred”.
The club added that a “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”.
Having said that they will investigate the matter, Leinster Senior League issued a statement on Friday which revealed that sanctions have been imposed on Ballybrack FC as a result of the incident for bringing the game into disrepute.
The individual responsible has also been sanctioned for bringing the game into disrepute, but the League confirmed that Ballybrack FC have not been removed from the league altogether.
Ballybrack FC have accepted the sanctions handed down by the league and have thanked Arklow Town for their support throughout the process.
You can read the statement in full below.
Leinster Senior League statement
“The executive committee of the Leinster Senior League met with officials from Ballybrack FC on Thursday night to discuss the club’s failure to fulfil a fixture at senior level.
“The League would like to state that the events of the last week should not be attributed to, or connected to Ballybrack FC schoolboy teams, which are run by a separate committee.
“In the meeting, Ballybrack FC were open and transparent regarding an error made by a volunteer who no longer works with the club, after he was removed from the senior team committee last Tuesday.
“Ballybrack FC officials admitted to not grasping the full impact of the incident, where they failed to fulfil a fixture against Arklow Town FC, and they apologised for their part in that.
“Ballybrack FC will accept all sanctions handed down by the League and have thanked Arklow Town for their support throughout this process.
“The League have ruled that sanctions – which match FAI rules – have been imposed on Ballybrack FC for failing to fulfil the fixture. The club has been sanctioned for bringing the game into disrepute and the individual involved is also sanctioned for bringing the game into disrepute.
"All correspondences between the League and the club will remain private, but the League can confirm that Ballybrack FC were not removed from the league altogether.
"The League would like to appeal to the media and the general public to respect the privacy of the former club volunteer involved in the incident, who made an error that they privately apologised for.”
— LSL League (@LSLLeague) November 30, 2018