“That’s how I found out that I was dead.”
Ballybrack Football Club, which plays in the Leinster Senior Football League in Dublin, did not play a match this weekend on account of the death of one of their players, Fernando LaFuente of Spain. The club told the league that LaFuente died in a car crash on his way home from practice on Thursday evening.
In response, Ballybrack's game was canceled and the rest of the league observed a moment of silence and wore black armbands throughout the weekend. Then it turned out LaFuente wasn't dead, he was just back home in Spain playing video games.
In an interview on Irish radio station RTÉ, LaFuente said he knew there would be some story about him circulated by the team, he just assumed it'd be something like a broken leg. It seems Ballybrack went big, so they could go home:
"I was yesterday at home, after my work finished, playing some video games. I got a call from work and I was like, 'Oh, what's happened?'
"They told me, 'You're a celebrity' and I was like, 'Why is that?' They started sending me all these news articles.
"That's how I found out that I was dead."
League officials are rightly miffed, as they tried to do all the right things when they found out a player had passed away—they tried to find out where the funeral was going to be held so they could make arrangements to attend and send condolences to the family. That's when the black armband began to unravel.
Here's David Moran telling the Journal.ie how the lightbulbs starting going on:
We got a call back saying that his body had been sent back to Spain and that’s when the alarm bells rang. I was saying ‘what do you mean?’. They wouldn’t have been able to do an autopsy or whatever in that time.
“We started investigating it yesterday and then I got a call saying that he had just left to go home to Spain. I’m delighted the young lad’s alive but I’m absolutely dumbfounded by what’s going on.”
For its part, Ballybrack called the whole ordeal a "gross error in judgment."
LaFuente, however, has found the humor in it all. "It's serious on [the club's] part," he told RTÉ, "but I'm finding it a little bit funny because, basically, I'm not dead and no one has actually been harmed."
It's a healthy reaction, really. Life's too short to hold a grudge.