Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Not all wine and roses
Football may seem a glamourous life. Tales of sheikhs and oligarchs dripping in gold and cash take their privates jets to England where they are welcomed with open arms and open wallets. Players like Terry and Adebayor, nothing really special, manage to siphon some of that money into their own accounts and live the life of bling while cursing the mechanics of having to actually kick a ball around once in a while.
Not everyone in football though has every waking moment analysed in the tabloids and gutter press. For many it's a job and for others it's an escape from poverty that promises a lot but delivers little.
Indonesian football is rife with tales of professional footballers getting locked up for overstaying their visas. Whose fault is it? Agents bring them over but then offer nothing by way of advise. Players, often from poor backgrounds, aren't told what the immigration requirements are so when they get caught they are the proverbial rabbit in the headlights.
It's easy to get on that high horse, actually not so easy for me, and say these guys should make themselves aware of what they are letting themselves in for. I'm sure it ain't that simple. I don't pretend to understand the ins and outs of West African culture but I wouldn't be surprised if tribal connections trumps most else.
Andy from Kingdom of Football blog was recently on some radio show talking about footballers heading to Asia in search of riches and being left by unscrupulous agents to fend for themselves when they can't find a club. But the tale he relates has a more tragic ending.
Who should educate these young men about the realities on the ground? The agents obviously don't always. The Football Associations don't seem interested. Embassies tend not to worry about their fellow citizens unless they are very rich or cameras are running.
Think it's a two way street. There are just as many cases of footballers forging documents and even getting involved in smuggling and drug-trafficking, causing embarrassment to their clubs and local FAs.Post a Comment