Irish soccer team apologizes after faking death of its own player

An Irish soccer team has apologized after faking the death of its own player. Ballybrack FC apologized to its fans Tuesday after the team told the league one of its players had died Friday.

The team reportedly told the Leinster Senior League that one its players, Fernando Nuno La Fuente, had died. The team’s game against Arklow Town, which was slated to take place Saturday, was canceled as a result of the news.

The league even held a moment of silence for La Fuente during games the entire weekend, according to the Irish Times.

La Fuente, however, wasn’t dead. After doing some digging, the league became suspicious, chairman David Moran told RTÉ Sport.

“We were told he was flown back to Spain on the Saturday. Straight away, that rang alarm bells for us. How would you die early on Friday morning and be flown back to Spain on the Saturday?

“It started to unravel then. We rang and we couldn’t get any answers out of them (the club).

“We checked the hospitals, we checked everywhere. Nobody could find anything about this young fella. Obviously, some of his teammates released stuff on social media saying he went back to Spain four weeks ago.”

The league does not believe this was an honest mistake, either. The Leinster Senior League thinks Ballybrack FC made the announcement to get out of Saturday’s game. Moran called that move “extreme” and “ridiculous.”

The league has launched an investigation into the matter.

In its apology statement, Ballybrack FC said a person with the team “who has been experiencing severe personal difficulties unbeknownst to any other members of the club” was responsible for telling the league La Fuente had died. That person has been relieved of their duties, according to the team.  

(Yahoo Sports Soccer H/N: Deadspin)

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The net worth of the highest-paid soccer stars like Messi and Ronaldo
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The net worth of the highest-paid soccer stars like Messi and Ronaldo

Tim Howard Net Worth: $8 Million

Goalkeeper for the Colorado Rapids and the U.S. men’s soccer team, Tim Howard’s net worth is $8 million. The former Everton goalkeeper earned a $2.6 million salary in 2014, reported TheRichest, which tracks celebrity finances. Adweek reported he has six-figure endorsement deals with Nike and McDonald’s.

Tim Howard returns to Major League Soccer after a 13-year stint in England. ESPN reported the 37-year-old soccer player will make between $2.5 million and $2.8 million each year in his time with the Colorado Rapids. His contract will last through 2019.

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Wayne Rooney Net Worth: $145 Million

With Forbes putting Wayne Rooney’s earnings at $26.1 million, the English soccer player is among the highest-earning athletes in the sport this year. He reportedly has earned $20.1 million off his salary and winnings, on top of $6 million off endorsement deals. Wayne Rooney’s net worth is $145 million.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic Net Worth: $160 Million

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a net worth of $160 million. The Swedish striker brings in $37.4 million in total earnings this year, landing him the No. 23 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes of 2016. Those earnings include a $30.4 million salary and $7 million in endorsements. More recently, Ibrahimovic inked a $3 million-per-year contract with Nike that runs through 2019.

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Lionel Messi Net Worth: $280 Million

Second only to Cristiano Ronaldo on Forbes’ list of 2016’s highest-paid athletes, Lionel Messi earned $81.4 million in 2016. He raked in $53.4 million in salary — along with the many bonuses his contract affords him — and a staggering $28 million from endorsement deals, which include his own line of Adidas shoes and other merchandise. Lionel Messi has a net worth of $280 million.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Net Worth: $320 Million

In 2016, Forbes crowned Cristiano Ronaldo with the title of the world’s highest-paid athlete. He pulled in $88 million overall, with $56 million in earnings and $32 million in endorsement contracts. That’s a step up from 2015, when the three-time FIFA best player in the world — who’s scored 50 goals for six straight seasons — ranked No. 3 on Forbes’ list.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s net worth is $320 million. Forbes put his contract earnings with Real Madrid at $50 million per year. His endorsements include Nike, Tag Heuer, Monster headphones and his own line of underwear, shirts, shoes and fragrance. In 2009, he became the most expensive player in the history of soccer when Real Madrid paid Manchester United a $132 million transfer fee to acquire him.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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