Football’s broken dreams: the African teenagers sold a Premier League lie | Pete Pattison

Football’s broken dreams: the African teenagers sold a Premier League lie | Pete Pattison

He went to Nepal hoping it would be a stepping stone to playing for Chelsea. Instead, Aboubacar Sidibé became another victim of unscrupulous ‘agents’ who promise young men a shot at the big time only to swindle them

Like thousands of football-mad teenagers in Mali, Aboubacar Sidibé dreamed of one day playing for Chelsea. So when a football manager approached him with the promise of a contract with a club in India – a launchpad, he was told, to the European clubs – he jumped at the chance.

It didn’t matter that he was just 17. Or that he would have to pay the manager more than £2,700. It seemed a price worth paying to kickstart his football career.

Related: The scandal of Africa’s trafficked players

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