Last week, The UK Times published a fantastical story about a fantasy football league based in Qatar offering huge sums of money to the best teams in the world to take part in a summer tournament in the oil-rich region. Clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and others would make multiple times what they would by winning the Champions League just by competing in the Qatari tournament. The Times billed the scoop as an exclusive written by Chief Football Correspondent Oliver Kay:
"The world’s leading football clubs are to be offered enormous financial inducements to participate in a 24-team tournament every two years in Qatar and neighbouring Gulf states, The Times has learnt.
Backed by the Qatari royal family, the self-styled “Dream Football League” (DFL) will release plans next month for a new club tournament that it hopes to establish as a rival to the Champions League and the Club World Cup."
The story was met with immediate skepticism as a hoax. In fact, a French satirical website, Les Cahiers du Football claimed Kay's story was taken from their earlier satirical article about the Dream Football League. The website even had a back and forth with Kay on Twitter, who claimed to have a concrete source and one that didn't take his information from a spoof...
The Times and Kay stood by their scoop, at least initially. After an investigation by the paper, it was proven the Dream Football League was just that - a dream.
The Times posted an explanation/retraction/correction on their website today, but it's behind a paywall. Thankfully, EPL Talk has the full text of the Times' story. It begins with Kay's relationship with a murky source connected to Qatari ownership at Paris Saint-Germain who provided Kay with information. From there, Kay contacted individuals at the biggest clubs in Europe and once the story wasn't completely dismissed, the Times jumped to publication...no comments