The New Slave Trade

The growing human tragedy that is the literal buying and selling of young African boys is reaching a level that can no longer be ignored.

THIS ARTICLE FROM GHANA spells out the problems in detail. There's so little money and so little hope in many of these countries that paying an agent to take a young boy to Europe for a promised spot with a rich club is like playing the lottery with your children. The odds are long, but if it's the only hope you have, that' what you go with.

FIFA pays lip service to the problem, but is doing nothing at all to stop it. The big European clubs act like these kids magically drop from the skies and pretend it's not their problem.

Maybe some small portion of the billions of dollars of revenue the UEFA countries and clubs wallow in could be spent sending responsible people to Africa to try and regulate this or at least provide a place families and players can go when these abuses occur.

Maybe clubs need to start looking closely at where these kids are coming from.

Maybe FIFA needs to try and rescue some of the kids who've been cast aside and, if nothing else, help them get back home, instead of tsk-tsking about what a shame it all is and then settling down for a few hours of fine dining.

And maybe everybody has to stop looking at seven year olds with ball skills and seeing dollar signs.