n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Football trafficking - a new African slave trade

Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



"Football trafficking" is a term used by human rights campaigners to describe the practice of importing scores of young kids from Africa to European football leagues. Agents and middlemen normally charge tens of thousands of dollars to bring children as young as eight to audition for a place on a European team. While this looks like a great opportunity for many kids that dream of becoming the next big football star, the reality is the vast majority end up without a place on a team, stranded in Europe, unable to work and unable to get home. The profit making and malpractice with players arise through football's labour market, which thrives on a legitimate human trade. This article seeks to unravel the causes and the extent of football trafficking, as well as suggesting ways of dealing with the problem. Due to the lack of written material, the researcher relied on media reports and football association statutes to compile this article. The focus of the study is West Africa. The reason for focusing on West Africa is that this is the area that has been worst affected by the problem, and if it is not debated, it could soon affect Southern Africa.

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