Soccer Team Tells League One Of Its Players Died In Order to Postpone Match

Ballybrack FC, a soccer team in the Irish Leinster Senior League, informed the league in November that one of its players, Fernando La Fuente, had died in a tragic car accident. This resulted in the postponement of a previously scheduled game between Ballybrack FC and Arklow Town.

The only problem is that La Fuente isn’t dead. He had simply moved for work-related reasons in September and hadn’t been playing with the club.

According to a story in The Irish Sun,

Speaking to the Irish Sun, LSL chairman Dave Moran raged: “We are still trying to verify what exactly happened here. I’ve never seen anything like this.

“This doesn’t reflect badly on the league, we were absolutely horrified and acted in good faith trying to help out at a desperate time.

“I also feel sorry for the young lad reading that he’s dead on Facebook.”

. . .

Teams throughout the league shared heartfelt messages of condolence with some holding a minute’s silence before one of their games after hearing of the supposed tragedy.

NCAA Forces Removal of Some Women Soccer Players From FIFA 16

Polygon writer Owen Good has an excellent opinion piece on the appalling behavior of the NCAA toward a small number women soccer players over the upcoming video game, FIFA 16.

FIFA 16 is the first installment of that video game to include women soccer players, and it’s about time that happened. But, the NCAA has forced Electronic Arts to remove the names and likenesses of 13 women, who also attend U.S. universities, because of the NCAA’s insane eligibility requirements,

On Thursday, Electronic Arts acknowledged that 13 members of three national teams — Mexico’s, Spain’s and Canada’s — had to be wiped from its upcoming FIFA 16 at the last minute. That’s because the NCAA, which doesn’t have a goddamn thing to do with this video game, said these players’ appearance — legally secured with permission from their nation’s soccer federations — would violate one of its rules and forfeit their eligibility.

. . .

Per Electronic Arts, neither [Canadian defender Kadeisha] Buchanan nor any of the other 12 players “were to be compensated individually” for their appearance. What that means is EA (properly) paid some fee to these players’ national associations to use their likenesses and others, on a group basis. The distribution of that money, if any is disbursed, is up to those federations’ agreements with their players.

Those deals may respect NCAA amateurism rules or may have exemptions granted. Who knows. In the end, we’re left to assume it’s not any money that’s the problem because the people making the game aren’t paying the women. It’s their appearance in the game itself that’s the violation, probably because the NCAA construes it as the direct endorsement of a commercial product.

The NCAA has no problems for someone like Caleb Porter, coach of the University of Akron men’s soccer team, raking in a salary of $350,000/year to coach “amateur” athletics, but god forbid a “student athlete’s” name and likeness appear in a video game.

Ivory Coast Tries to Make Amends to Soccer Witch Doctors

The BBC has one of the oddest sports stories I’ve read in a long time.

It seems the Ivory Coast has never had much success in the African Nations Cup football tournament aside from 1992, when it won it all by beating Ghana in the final.

Before that final match, the Ivory Coast’s sports minister retained several witch doctors to give the nation’s team an edge over Ghana. But after the team won, the sports minister never followed through on the promises of financial reward that were made to the witch doctors. Some of the witch doctors threatened to curse the team.

Since then, the performance of the Ivory Coast team has been dismal — in both 2000 and 2002, it was eliminated in the first round from the African Nations Cup competition.

Now, the government has had a change of heart with Defence and Civil Protection Minister Moise Lida Kouassi saying that the country wants to make amends for “the promises which weren’t kept after the 1992 Nations Cup.” He’s offering them $2,000 and a bottle of liquor to once again favor the country’s football team and bring it success on the field.