Ali Dia: Premier League’s Most Well Known Fraudster

The OG football fans know all about Ali Dia, and why wouldn’t they? Ali Dia became famous among the premier league fans globally with just one match. Not for the good reasons though, he played for a good 53 minutes and it was clear that Ali Dia wasn’t built for football. Let’s go deeper into the story of Ali Dia, the most well-known fraudster in football.

Ali Dia had a cousin named “George Weah” and George Weah had won the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1995. So the fact that George Weah called up a bunch of coaches suggesting they pick Ali as a striker in their team had some credibility. 

George decided to make some calls, he reached out to some of the top managers of the time like West Ham, Rotherham, and Gillingham to pitch Ali as their striker. However, none of them chose Ali for their teams. In the end, George reached out to the manager of Southampton, Graeme Souness, and told him that Ali Dia can play as a striker, he also told him that he’d played with Ali Dia. Finally, Graeme said yes and Ali Dia was signed on as a striker under a 1-month contract.

What Fraud Did Ali Dia Commit?

Well, the truth is that Graeme Souness had never met Ali Dia, or even heard of him before. To make things worse, no one had actually seen him play. He got selected in Southampton solely because he was George Weah’s cousin.

The other players who practiced alongside Ali Dia weren’t so convinced of his performance, to put it bluntly, he wasn’t up to the mark in comparison to other players. Still, Ali Dia made the team, finally, the day came when the world got to see him play. On 23rd November 1996, he was sitting on the bench as a substitute where Southampton played against Leeds. 32 minutes into the match, Matt Le Tissier had to come off the field with an injury. Ali Dia finally got a shot to play. 

Well, it’s safe to say that the performance wasn’t as impressive as one would expect. 

In the words of Le Tissier “It was very, very embarrassing to watch. We were like: What’s this geezer doing? He’s hopeless”. Needless to say that he was taken off the pitch by Graeme. He came for a physio on Sunday and after that, Ali Dia was nowhere to be found.

Some research was conducted and it was uncovered that Ali Dia wasn’t the cousin of George Weah. Turns out George Weah never even called any of the managers, it was someone pretending to be George Weah. And as it was clear now, Ali Dia wasn’t good at football at all. Ali Dia had successfully lied about his identity.

Preventing Identity Fraud

It was lucky for Southampton that Ali didn’t cause any huge loss for them. This is why it is vital to identify the identities of people you’re getting in a business partnership with. Today it is most important to Know Your Customer.

Obviously, not everyone has to deal with football stars, but fraud is a fraud regardless of its scale. If you constantly sign up new consumers on your website or for your business, it is vital to have good, perfect fraud prevention methods.

DIRO’s online document verification technology can help in verifying customer Identity documents in an instant. It also prevents the use of stolen or forged documents for identity theft. Another common use of DIRO’s online document verification technology is streamlined compliance with KYC/AML compliance. The solution provides instant document verification, which means fast and secure document verification. The use of proper technologies can prevent another Ali Dia.