Footie hacks duped by fake Moldovan

Posted by - January 16, 2009 - Oddballs, Transfer News and Gossip

Teen sensation is fictional

Cracking story this. A number of media outlets, including The Times and, have been reporting on a 16-year-old Moldovan attacker named Masal Bugduv who was set to take the football world by storm. The only problem is he doesn’t exist. Bugduv was nothing more than the star of a fake AP press release. has issued an apology on the subject. It read: “ would like to apologise for any confusion over the snippet of information we published over phantom prodigy Masal Bugduv, who is apparently as elusive as a home win at Stamford Bridge recently.

“We received information from a fake Associated Press report, and we are sorry to pass this on. Still, unlike some publications we did not even begin to imply that we had watched him play – merely that he was in a provisional squad list and was attracting attention, as per the (forged) AP report.”

The Times had included Bugduv in their list of the 50 hottest young footballers. He came in at number 30 (surely a kick in the teeth for all the young prospects who ranked below the fictitious Bugduv) with The Times proclaiming: “Moldova’s finest, the 16-year-old attacker has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, work permit permitting. And he’s been linked with plenty of other top clubs as well”

The player has now earned a fake entry on Wikipedia, and once he’s on Wikipedia hasn’t he really made it as a top footballer regardless of whether he exists or not?

It just goes to show how much of journalism is simply regurgitated from elsewhere. Erm… Spotted on The Spoiler!