LISTEN: How Mission 89 is working to reveal “football’s dirty little secret” in this interview with Football Nation Radio

LISTEN: How Mission 89 is working to reveal “football’s dirty little secret” in this interview with Football Nation Radio

Football has a dirty little secret: the movement of players from Africa to Europe and Asia.

It is a complex issue that involves exploitation of young athletes and at its worst examples is defined as human trafficking.

Just like a typical football match there are many forces in play and many individuals with specific roles that, when combined, create different outcomes. Money is a driving factor.

Young players want to improve the economic situation for themselves and their families and promises – many of them false – are seen as a circuit breaker.

Agents and academies want a piece of the money merry-go-round that revolves around professional football, especially in Europe and Asia.

Clubs at every level don’t want to miss out on the next big thing – whether for success on the field or success in making money selling players to other clubs.

Article 19 of FIFA’s regulations on the status and transfer of players states that international transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18, yet loopholes and grey areas allow rules to be exploited or ignored.

Mission 89’s Matthew Hall was interviewed on Football Nation Radio to discuss the organization’s work in challenging these issues and how it plans to advocate, educate, and change the game.