Mission 89 begins Collaboration with FECAFOOT

Mission 89 begins Collaboration with FECAFOOT

Mission 89 begins Collaboration with FECAFOOT (Cameroonian Football Federation) and Interpol Regional Bureau for Central Africa to protect young athletes from sports trafficking

On Friday February 4, the president of FECAFOOT, Samuel Eto’o, received Mrs. Chantal Apendeki Cinen (Head of the Interpol Regional Office for Central Africa) accompanied by Mrs. Lerina Bright our Executive Director at Mission 89, an international NGO on the frontline in the fight against trafficking in sport.

Mr. Samuel Eto’o who is the current president of FECAFOOT was a former player at Barcelona and Inter Milan. In his prime, Eto’o was regarded by sports pundits as one of the best strikers in the world, and he is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, winning the African Player of the Year a record four times: in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010. As a member of the Cameroon national team, Eto’o was a part of the team that won the Gold Medal at the 2000 Olympics. He also won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002. Eto’o has participated in four World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations. He is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations, with 18 goals, and is Cameroon’s all-time leading scorer.

Mrs. Lerina was in Yaoundé, Cameroon to highlight the gravity of the issue of trafficking in sport and how sporting events like the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations should be a pipeline for campaigns against trafficking of athletes. Trafficking of human beings, particularly in sport, is becoming increasingly widespread worldwide.

It turns out, the most affected population is African. The pretence of a professional career can be used to recruit young people into an underworld of illegal immigration and crime. Sports trafficking, especially of youth, is facilitated by individuals or groups using loopholes in international policies and sports regulations to force, coerce, and fraudulently trap others in servitude and slavery. Many don’t hesitate to take up the opportunity, which they hope will give them the chance to exercise their profession and live their passion, football. Unfortunately, those dreams never come true.

Mission 89 aims to empower those most vulnerable to exploitation and counter the widespread belief that migration is the only solution that young footballers have to break out of economic uncertainty. In addition, we aim to establish a licensing and accreditation system to recognize legitimate institutions from sham organizations exploiting young athletes in order to have young talent pursue their dreams of professional careers in sport without being exploited.

Mrs. Lerina Bright called upon the FECAFOOT to join the fight against trafficking of human beings in sport in order to protect the promising future of African Sport.

According to FECAFOOT, the meeting represented the beginning of the future collaboration to protect young athletes from Africa against trafficking. After the meeting, a document was initialed to link the different stakeholders who are called upon to work together to protect young athletes against trafficking.

 

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