The dark side of African football

Dan McDougall writes in an article for the Guardian:

On a dirt playing field in the outskirts of local football club Adjame, youngsters in blue vests juggle footballs in the searing heat. The pitch, overlooked on one side by a busy motorway and on another by a landfill site, is covered in broken glass and tin cans; the goalposts are rusting and framed with strawberry nets. In the tiny patch of ground around 40 boys, some as young as nine, make shuttle runs back and forward.

Balancing a cheap synthetic ball on his head Doho Lou Olivier’s skills stand out. ‘We call him Shacala,’ his coach K Toussaint, whispers of his star pupil. ‘He is named after a sorcerer in a famous Brazilian movie. The French club Lille want to take him. His contract is owned by a Lebanese but we are training him on behalf of the businessmen and his family. If we sell him on we all take a cut.’

Hopefully someone will put a stop to this exploitation. Read the full article.

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