From: People & Power

Slaves to football

People & Power investigates a football trafficking trade preying on young dreams.


Football’s biggest tournament is under way and it is the first to be hosted in Africa, a continent where millions of young boys dream of escaping poverty by becoming professional football players.  

Football is not just a sport but a multi-billion dollar industry that attracts hopeful players from all over the world.

With the World Cup 2010 to be staged in South Africa, the roving eye of football’s insatiable talent scouts are upon the continent.

For many impoverished families, the hope of transforming their sons into football superstars is akin to winning the lottery, and that hope is what makes them vulnerable.

Where there are dreams there are also people willing to exploit the dreamers.
All over Africa, scammers posing as football agents for big clubs are duping the families of young men out of their savings for the promise of lucrative football careers in Europe or elsewhere.
The reality is far different, as many of these young men end up cast aside in foreign countries, without money or visas.
Orlando Von Einsiedel’s report begins in Lagos, Nigeria.

This episode of People & Power can be seen from Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 0600, 1230; Thursday: 0130, 1400, 1930; Friday: 0630, 1630; Saturday: 0330, 2030; Sunday: 0030, 0530; Monday: 0830.