Arsenal’s on-loan defender Nuno Tavares seems to have been deceived into signing a petition aimed at banning his teammate, Leonardo Balerdi, from playing for Marseille.
The incident was captured in a video shared on Twitter by French Football News.
The incident occurred during a training session, where Tavares was handed a document and asked to sign it without being given any details about its contents.
Unknown to Tavares, the document was a petition calling for Balerdi to be banned from the team for his alleged poor performance. Tavares, who is on loan from Benfica, signed the petition without realizing what it was about.
The prank was later revealed to Tavares, who reportedly took it in good humor. However, the incident has raised concerns about the potential for similar pranks in the future, and the need for players to be more careful about what they sign.
The clip, which is captioned “Tavares agrees”, shows the left-back taking pictures and signing autographs for a group of fans, before appearing to inadvertently sign the petition.
Indeed, the Marseille fan behind the petition has gone to extreme lengths to show his dislike for Balerdi.
Balerdi joined Marseille from Borussia Dortmund in 2021, after a successful loan spell the previous season but has struggled to make an impact at Marseille this season, with some fans calling for him to be dropped from the team.
However, the petition calling for his ban was clearly a joke, and Tavares was the unwitting victim.