Two Cameroonian soccer players have accused an Ethiopian club, Addis Ababa City FC of gross mistreatment after they allegedly refused to facilitate their way back to Cameroon when they didn’t make the team.
Thiery Nkwandjo and Handou Sidik Endemobo came from Cameroon under the invitation of the Ethiopian Premier League side Addis Ababa City.
After the unsuccessful trials, Addis-Ababa City FC management refused to give back their passports leaving them stranded with no accommodation in the centre of Addis Ababa.“The club threw us out having paid for us a one way ticket to Addis Ababa despite promising us that they would pay the return ticket.
“When we reached the club, we found players of other nationalities also in for trials. The club thus told us that they no longer needed us and chased us out. We tried to get to our embassy but we were denied an audience,” said Thiery.
However, the duo refused to name the officials at the club who are thought to be behind the players’ woes. The players are believed to have been smuggled into the country by an unnamed local rogue agent who runs a cartel in Cameroon where there are an estimated 100 illegal football academies operating in Douala alone.
Coaches and other middlemen are believed to haggle over the best players in the academies by making them sign binding pre-contracts – effectively buying them from their families – with the hope of making thousands of dollars selling the boys to clubs in Africa and Europe but finally dumping the players in foreign countries.