Claims the article is based on a prank

13 March ~ A story in the Times today has caused denial and counter argument after French website Les Cahiers du Football claimed it was based on their spoof article. The piece, suggesting sheikhs in Qatar will offer the world's top clubs enormous amounts of money to play in a summer tournament, is spread across three pages of the newspaper. Cahiers said on Twitter that their story, published on March 10, "came entirely from our imagination" and that the newspaper had been tricked into believing it. However the author of the Times article, chief football correspondent Oliver Kay, said the French publication was not his source while Rob Beal, a European football media advisor, has asserted that it was based on fact. The argument is detailed by Roy Greenslade in his Guardian media blog.

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