Monday 14 October 2019

Club that faked player's death is sanctioned but keeps its place in league

Fernando Lafuente Saiz
Fernando Lafuente Saiz
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Ballybrack FC have been sanctioned by Leinster Senior League (LSL) for faking the death of a player to get out of a match, but the club have not been removed from the league.

A club volunteer was removed from his role after they had an upcoming game against Arklow postponed following a claim that player Fernando Lafuente Saiz died in a car crash. However, it was later revealed that the player is alive and living in Galway, having left Ballybrack at the end of September.

A meeting between club officials and the executive committee of LSL took place on Thursday night where it was decided that Ballybrack and the volunteer at the centre of the scandal should be sanctioned for bringing the game into disrepute.

The severity of the sanctions was not disclosed.

"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," a statement by LSL read.

"The League would like to state that events of the past 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."

Ballybrack issued an apology earlier this week, saying a "gross error of judgment" led to the fake reports.

Mr Lafuente Saiz said he was aware his former club might post something about him being involved in an accident, but did not expect to "killed off".

"When I saw the news, I wrote to them, they got straight back, and apologised. It's serious on their part but I'm finding it a little bit funny because basically I'm not dead," he said.

Irish Independent

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