Abandoned Soccer Players

Abandoned Soccer Players

“More than 90 percent of young soccer players recruited in Africa to play on French teams end up as illegal workers [without] any hope of integration into French society,” says the Paris newsmagazine Marianne. An official French government report denounced the unscrupulous recruiting agents who travel the globe in search of “golden-legged youths.” Thousands of young African boys, including about 300 under the age of 13, have been seduced by the dream of a dazzling sports career. But the vast majority do not sign any official contract with a club and wind up penniless. The magazine comments: “There are many more sad stories in the files of soccer lawyers than there is glitter.”

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