Edgar Ie during his spell at Feyenoord. Maybe...?

The ex-Barca baller who sent his twin to play in Romania & 5 other shady tales

The biggest identity scandal since Mike Bassett accidentally called up Benson & Hedges to an England squad may have just dropped.

Ex-Barcelona youngster Edgar Ie, who made his senior debut under Luis Enrique, has been accused of sending his twin brother Edelino to play for Romania’s Dinamo Bucaresti in his place.

We’ve picked out some of football’s wildest reported madnesses in honour of this potential scam for the ages. Let’s start with a little more info on the Ie twins and the current situation.

When is an Ie not an Ie?

According to reports, whichever Ie twin turned up in Bucharest had no English, which surprised the Romanian club as Edgar has played in Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, France, and Portugal. Edelino, however, has spent the vast majority of his career in Portugal.

Dinamo Bucaresti are currently scrapping relegation from the Romanian SuperLiga, and any sort of points deduction would likely be fatal for them. The club have asked Ie to provide his driving licence as proof of identification, but he refused, and DNA tests are incoming.

Grab the popcorn, football fans. It’s about to get a bit Jeremy Kyle in Romania.

Carlos Kaiser

Kaiser was sort of a genius. The Brazilian carved out an illustrious career as a footballer without ever playing a competitive game. His career stats page is a thing of beauty: 12 clubs, 0 apps, 0 goals.

Long story short, Kaiser wanted to be a footballer without actually playing football. He made a lot of high profile football friends, got them to recommend him to clubs, then faked a lot of injuries and used toy mobile phones to create fake messages that backed up his stories.

He once very nearly got subbed in a match for Bangu in Brazil, but managed to start a fight with a supporter and get himself sent off before he had to enter the pitch.

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Maradona spikes Branco

There was something in the water in Turin when Argentina faced Brazil at Italia ’90. Literally, there was actually something in the water. There was Rohypnol in the water.

Players reached for water bottles which were brought onto the pitch as an Argentinian was being treated for an injury. Some bottles contained green liquid, and some were clear. Maradona stopped his teammates from drinking the green liquid, but actively encouraged Brazilian left-back Branco to gulp down the green stuff.

Branco was pretty quiet after that, and Argentina won the game 1-0. El Diego admitted what he’d done in an interview years later.

Ali Dia

English football’s most famous fraudster. You know the story: Man gets in touch with Graeme Souness, claiming to be the cousin of George Weah. Souness gives the fella a tryout (because apparently being related to a Ballon d’Or winner was all the credentials you needed in the 90s), and Dia ends up replacing an injured Matt Le Tissier as a sub in the Premier League.

Dia ended up having brief spells at Gateshead and Spennymoor in the Northeast before slipping away into obscurity.

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Michel Platini and the World Cup ’98 draw

Three-time Ballon d’Or winner Michel Platini was co-president of the organising committee for the 1998 World Cup in France. A vintage tournament soundtracked by Vindaloo, Three Lions, and Carnaval de Paris, and which culminated in that famous Final between France and Brazil.

It was the Final for which Ronaldo was mysteriously left out of and then reinstated into Brazil’s starting XI. That’s a conspiracy tale all of its own, but it’s not what we’re referring to here.

Platini has since admitted what he calls “trickery” during the group stage draw to make sure that that Brazil and France were placed into groups which meant that, should they both win their groups, they could not meet until the Final in Paris.

Not the dodgiest activity to take place surrounding the organisation of a World Cup, but shady nonetheless.

62 Cameroonian catfish

In March 2024, Fecafoot (the Cameroonian Football Federation) suspended 62 players for suspected identity fraud.

French paper Le Monde did some digging, and they reckon Wilfried Nathan Douala, a 17-year-old called up to Rigobert Song’s most recent AFCON squad, was at least 23 years old and had played in Cameroon’s domestic league under the name Alexandre Bardelli.

To be fair, if Luke ‘The Nuke’ Littler can go round the darts circuit claiming to be a 16-year-old boy, we reckon just about anything is fair game.