Fruit basket lures Beckham to Australia? No fool like an April fool

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Soccer fans in Australia fell for an April Fool’s jokes on Thursday after a fake news report claimed David Beckham has been lured to coach the country by a basket of fruit.

The Sydney Morning Herald said the deal was sealed after Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy sent Beckham a fruit basket and get-well card after his surgery last month.

"The pineapples and bananas (FFA) sent made Becks realise he's really appreciated by the Aussies," a source was quoted as saying.

"Our David likes simple but sincere gestures like that."

Australian broadcaster ABC later picked up on the gag by broadcasting a spoof interview with a Becks impersonator.

The Becks imitator said: "I'm really thrilled to be part of this group. I just can't wait to meet up with the lads and get the campaign under way."

The FFA was besieged with calls from delighted fans. Even the Sports Minister rang up to congratulate them on their coup.

Newspapers ran stories saying Becks would lead them to glory, while travel agents saw a surge of inquiries about packages to the World Cup in South Africa.

The Aussies had practically packed their bags for South Africa until ABC admitted that the story was a hoax.

ABC content manager Peter Brennan said: "It sounded so authentic to air but there were little hints in each of the on-air components, that if you analysed it you would have realised it wasn't quite what it seemed."

One duped fan said: "I'm blushing. I feel like an idiot."

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