Young West African footballers are leaving their homes and loved ones behind and heading to Thailand.

Arriving with little more than the clothes on their back, they share one dream - to become a professional football player.

Tassirou landed in Bangkok from Senegal on a three-month tourist visa. One month has already passed.

He needs to secure a contract fast, which will allow him to stay in Thailand and achieve his ambitions to play professionally. It will also allow him to repay the loans of family and friends who are supporting him.

But the competition to get on the field is intense and discrimination and exploitation is all too common.

Peter from Kenya, was head-hunted by a Thai club and also arrived on a tourist visa. He says he played for five months, but was never paid. Now his visa has expired and, unable to afford the flight home, he is at the mercy of the coach and the immigration services.

On this episode of 101 East, we meet aspiring African footballers as they try to make it in Thailand's big league.

Join the conversation @AJ101East

Source: Al Jazeera