Senegalese Striker Boulaye Dia In Hot Water After Refusing To Play Against Okoye's Udinese

Salernitana's Senegalese forward Boulaye Dia | Imago

Senegalese Striker Boulaye Dia In Hot Water After Refusing To Play Against Okoye's Udinese

Ayoola Kelechi 22:12 - 02.03.2024

During the match between Salernitana and Udinese in Serie A, Dia shocked onlookers by refusing to come on as a substitute

Senegalese striker Boulaye Dia found himself at the centre of controversy during Salernitana's recent Serie A match against Udinese

The forward made headlines not for his on-field performance but for his unexpected refusal to participate in the closing stages of the game, a decision that has sparked widespread discussion and could have significant implications for his future at the club.

Dia Refuses to come on against Udinese

Salernitana, who secured an early lead in Udine thanks to Loum Tchaouna's goal, saw their advantage neutralized by Udinese's Hassane Kamara before the break. Despite Udinese being reduced to 10 men, Salernitana could not capitalize on the numerical advantage. It was during these tense final minutes that coach Fabio Liverani called upon Dia to enter the fray, a request that the striker declined.

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"Dia decided not to come on at the end," Liverani revealed in his post-match comments to DAZN, expressing his disappointment and surprise at the player's decision. With only seven or eight minutes remaining in the match, Liverani viewed Dia's refusal as a "definitive choice," signaling a potential rift between player and coach.

Liverani's Response and Dia's Future

Dia's refusal to play is the latest episode in what has been a challenging season for the forward. Plagued by injuries, Dia has struggled to maintain consistent form, contributing four goals in 17 Serie A appearances. His commitment to Salernitana was already under scrutiny following a delayed return from international duty with Senegal and a disrupted start to the season.

While Liverani expressed respect for Dia's decision, he also emphasized the consequences, stating, "I now know he's a player I can't count on." This incident may further strain Dia's relationship with Salernitana, with reports from Calciomercato suggesting that the club may seek to transfer the striker in the upcoming transfer window.

Contractual Complications

Dia's current contract, which extends until the summer of 2026, includes a release clause that was valid until mid-January, priced at €17.5 million. Despite previous interest from clubs like Fiorentina and Spartak Moscow, Dia remained at Salernitana past the January window, largely due to concerns over his injury history.

As Salernitana and Dia navigate the aftermath of this incident, the striker's future with the club appears uncertain. With potential suitors like Wolves still in the picture, the summer transfer window could see Dia making a move, seeking a fresh start and an opportunity to redefine his career after a tumultuous season in Serie A.