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Irish football team apologises for falsely reporting player's death

Pakistan played their first match in over three years
Ballybrack postponed its game against Arklow Town on Saturday.

An amateur football team from Dublin has apologised for a "gross error of judgement" after falsely reporting that one of its players, Fernando Lafuente, had died on Thursday.

A death notice was posted in a local newspaper, a game was postponed and teams across the Leinster Senior League in Ireland held a minute's silence to honour the memory of Lafuente, who was thought to have been killed in a car crash last week.

"This 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," Ballybrack FC said in a statement posted on their Facebook page.

The club said the person in question was fired after an emergency meeting.

The league offered its "sincerest apologies for any distress caused as a result of notifying clubs as to the demise of a valued player."

David Moran, chairman of the league, said the story began to be exposed after inquiries were made regarding offering support to Lafuente's family.

"We were told he was flown back to Spain on the Saturday. Straight away, that rang alarm bells for us," Moran told Irish broadcaster RTE.

"We checked the hospitals, we checked everywhere. Nobody could find anything about this young fellow."

Moran said some of Lafuente's friends said he had gone to Spain four weeks ago.

"The club has contacted Fernando to confirm his whereabouts, well-being," Ballybrack said, "and [is] thankful for his acceptance of our apology on this matter."

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