Player Features

Big Money Soccer Player Edgar Ié Might Actually Be His Twin Brother

A former FC Barcelona player is accused of deceiving his new professional team by secretly sending his twin to play in his stead, a bizarre bait-and-switch that’s left the pro soccer world stunned.

Edgar Ié signed with the Romanian football club Dinamo București in February, but the team was baffled when he arrived speaking no English. Though Ié has Guinea-Bissau and Portuguese citizenship, he’s spent significant time in Spain, Turkey, France, and the Netherlands—raising doubts about why the player on the pitch could only speak Portuguese.

Still, the club let Ié, 30, play as they investigated. Ié took the pitch in five matches before club leaders, suspicious of his identity, asked him for his driver’s license to verify he was, in fact, the player who signed. Ié refused.

Florin Prunea, president of Dinamo, voiced his bewilderment about the possible twin switch.

“It seems surreal. I wondered if I was still sleeping,” Prunea said. “I started making phone calls, talking to friends and the news is true, I can’t believe it. Nobody denied it. I found out that he has a twin brother who also plays soccer.”

If it’s true that Ié’s twin brother, Edelino, has assumed his identity on the field, the club risks losing both its professional reputation and the points it’s earned this season. The Romanian Football Federation is considering sanctions for the team and is likely to subject the player to a DNA test to prove his identity, multiple media outlets reported.

But because of the unprecedented nature of a twin scam, the federation isn’t quite sure how to proceed with discipline for the club.

“There is no planned scenario for this situation,” a federation official told the Romanian sports outlet iAMsport.

“If the player who played is not the real one, there could be sanctions. Legally, a DNA test can decide everything,” the official added. (Although, if Edelino is Ié’s identical twin brother, a DNA test will prove nothing.)

“Of course, Dinamo never intended to use the twin brother instead of the correct one. I think that, if the DNA result confirms that it is his twin brother, they should consider a defense, considering that they did not know about this. The possibility will have to be considered, but if Dinamo was deceived and manages to prove it, then the risk of losing points does not exist.”

Edelino Ié is also a professional soccer player, but has spent most of his career playing for the lower leagues. According to Transfermarkt, he is not signed with any team.

Edgar Ié hasn’t publicly commented on the investigation. On Monday, shared his reaction to the allegations on his social media. Reposting to his Instagram story a Portuguese-language post about the possible twin switch, he added a pair of laughing-with-tears emojis over the image.

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