Football: The ugly side of the beautiful game

This year Africans are eagerly anticipating the World Cup which for the first time will be held on African soil. For many youth, this is the opportunity to showcase our local talent.

The dream of playing for a European team is more enticing than even the prospect of playing for local teams. In Kenya, football development has been adversely impacted by politics, and except for a few clubs that offer subsistence allowance, football can hardly be seen as a sustainable livelihood.

And with the numbers of urban youth living in slums rising, football has emerged for the lucky few as a passport out of poverty.

Recently Al Jazeera’s People and Power programme featured a neglected aspect of football. That of human trafficking where youths and their families are duped into believing that they will be recruited by a foreign team, only to be dumped in Europe.

The main culprits in this scheme are local scam artists that con the youth that they have connections with foreign teams. Unfortunately the youths wind up abroad without paperwork and passports, and thus they have to resort to begging or working as illegals where at any moment they can be deported.

Unfortunately for those living in abject poverty in Africa’s slums, the deal of a lifetime to play for Arsenal, Manchester United, Real Madrid or any other team that they can only watch on TV screens, overrides any reasoning when these scam agents present themselves.

And sadly local regulations regarding recruitment of new talent do not exist. Though FIFA rules stipulate how recruitments into teams can be done, the rules can be ignored by rogue agents.

The only way for this scam to stop, is to set up a system of registered agents as well as opening up the flow of information so that unknowing youths can be able to check up on the credibility of people claiming that they will be the next Drogba, Essien or Eto’o.

Update: Embassies raise alarm over Kenyan soccer academies


About yipe
Yipe an acronym for the Youth Interactive Portal for Enterprise is an organization that assists entrepreneurs to start up and manage their small businesses.

One Response to Football: The ugly side of the beautiful game

  1. Hi everyone, this is a great article for everyone who likes football and everything related to football’s way of life, and after you read this article, you simply must leave a comment… Thanks for sharing this article with us!

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