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Soccer league to hold investigation after emerges player reported to have died is 'in good health' in Spain

A 'representative' of a football club in Dublin is believed to have falsely reported the death of one of its players to the Leinster Senior League last week.

A Ballybrack FC 'representative' said a player had died in a crash as he left training on Thursday night. It has transpired he instead travelled home to his native Spain.

A game between Ballybrack FC and Arklow on Saturday was called off as a mark of respect.

Players in other clubs wore black armbands observed a minute's silence at all matches over the weekend after being informed of the 'death' by the League.

A minute silence being observed over the weekend for the Ballybrack player

The Leinster Senior League released a statement from David Moran, the chairman of the amateur league, which apologised for any distress caused by the incident.

"The Leinster Senior League would like to acknowledge that the notification of the death of a Ballybrack FC player as shared with all member clubs and media partner is, without foundation," he said.

"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.

"We are glad to hear that the player is in good health and has returned to his native Spain."

The matter will be investigated by the League, it confirmed.

"The Leinster Senior League will co-operate with all relevant agencies in the investigation of this matter and the league will also deal with this issue through their own internal disciplinary procedures.

"The Leinster Senior League would like to offer their sincerest apologies for any distress caused as a result of notifying the 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."

Mr Moran told RTÉ Sport that the club's secretary had resigned after it became clear that the player in question was alive and well.

"We were told last Friday morning at 8.00 that the young lad had died. Their game was called off against Arklow. And then the story started to unravel yesterday.

"We can't get confirmation from Ballybrack FC but we got confirmation that their secretary had resigned this afternoon."

He added his thanks that there was not a tragic element to the incident.

He's in Spain apparently, thanks be to God. That's the one good thing about the story.

"The young lad didn't die in a motorbike accident last Thursday. He went back to Spain four or five weeks ago apparently."

Mr Moran said the situation became clear when the League offered to attend the player's funeral.

"The Leinster Senior League rang yesterday morning. We wanted to show our sympathies and go to the Mass and maybe meet the family and see what we could do to help in this horrible situation.

"And 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.

He said it was an "extreme" move to apparently avoid playing a game.

"It's very extreme to get a game off. We acted in good faith. We had a minute silence at the weekend for that young lad. It's absolutely ridiculous."