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For African footballers Russia is a land of false promises

first_imgSoumahoro paid the scout 3,000 euros ($3,500) only to find, like so many before him, that promises of a spot with a Moscow club disappeared like a mirage.He ended up training with a local team in the southern city of Krasnodar until his tourist visa ran out, leaving him adrift with no income in a country with frigid winters and a language he could barely speak.“It was tough, I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “It gets you down as you’ve lost your home club and your dream. In a stroke, you have nothing.”While teams in Russia’s Premier League can sign foreign talent, players in the lower divisions must be Russian or have a hard-to-obtain residence permit.Ernest Akhilomhen was a regular in Nigerian youth squads before leaving at age 16 to try his luck in Russia.He said coaches regularly tell him: “Ernest we like you, we want to sign you, but you have to get the good documents.”Without the correct paperwork Akhilomhen says he must break into the Premier League because it allows foreigners, a dream he stubbornly clings to.“That’s the reason I’m still here: I still have hope,” he said.Several times a week, Akhilomhen meets up at a pitch in the Moscow suburbs with Soumahoro, who coaches the Black Stars, a team he created for African footballers “to stay in shape and keep their hopes up”.– Scams and dreams –Players of the Black Stars, a team created for African footballers, train at a pitch in the Moscow suburbs © AFP / Maxim ZMEYEVEvery year some 6,000 African minors quit West Africa looking to make it with a European club, according to the charity Foot Solidaire.It’s difficult to estimate the number of adults who make the same journey.In villages and towns across the continent, young footballers seduced by the promise of an international career hand over sums that put entire families into debt, said Christophe Gleizes, author of the book “Magic System: Modern Slavery of African Footballers”.“They are well-developed scams with official papers signed by clubs: Spartak, Zenit… The traffickers exploit the confidence and the dreams of these kids,” he told AFP.Gleizes said the vulnerable young Africans were “ready to do anything for a better life”.“The El Dorado of European football makes them blind.”Russia, host of the June 14-July 15 World Cup, is an increasingly popular destination such scams as tourist visas are relatively easy to obtain and its top league is considered a springboard to big European clubs.– Small jobs –Mouhamed Kone arrived in Russia with an agent’s promises of introductions to a top club and manager ringing in his ears. Two years later, he’s still waiting and has run out of hope.“I don’t have any papers, I lost my passport,” said the young Malian. “Each time I see the police I get very afraid.”Fellow Africans helped him find an small apartment which he shares with eight others. The 17-year-old hangs up advertisements in a town north of Moscow to pay the rent and eat.He can earn up to 50 euros per week at best, and often brings home half that.“I wouldn’t encourage anyone to come to Russia to have career in football,” he said.Other Africans find work cutting hair, washing dishes in restaurants or as extras in films in order to earn enough to eat.For his part, Soumahoro earns his way with football, by training Muscovites, both kids and adults.But eight years after he arrived in Russia, he still hopes that one day he’ll be noticed by a Premier League side.“If your have your goal, with or without papers, you can achieve it. The solution is in your dreams.”0Shares0000(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Many African players who come to Russia with promises of lucrative careers end up with their dreams shattered © AFP / Maxim ZMEYEVMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jun 10 – As football’s top stars arrive in Russia chasing World Cup glory, young African players lured to the country with promises of lucrative contracts say that for them it is a place of scams and shattered dreams.“We are the team of false promises,” said Ismael Soumahoro, who was 16 and playing in Ivory Coast’s top flight when a scout convinced him “football is Africa is good but it would be better to take my chances in Europe.”last_img read more

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DONEGAL WOMAN’S HOME DESTROYED BY TORNADO AS SHE VISITS MARDI GRAS

first_imgA Donegal woman has revealed how she returned from enjoying the Mardi Gras Festival to find her house almost completely destroyed by a tornado.Bronagh Gallagher’s trip almost certainly saved her from serious injury after a huge tree fell on her house Hattiesburg, Mississippi.College lecturer Bronagh, from Sallaghgraine, Letterkenny, received a phonecall from her dog-sitter to say her house had been wrecked in the tornado which struck last Sunday. Bronagh, who moved to the US on a soccer scholarship 1998, was last night still trying to pick up the pieces after her ordeal.She was trying to remain positive but admits it could have been much worse.“When I got to the Mardi Gras I got a phonecall from my dog-sitter and she was just hysterical.“She had managed to shelter in the kitchen and that was probably the only place that there is no real debris as such so she is so lucky,” said Bronagh. Bronagh Gallagher from LetterkennyBronagh said it was complete chaos when she got back to her home.Her garden shed had even been completely blown away.“I was completely within a daze when I saw what had happened. I really was overwhelmed.“My clothes have gone and I am depending on friends and neighbours giving me clothes but I’ll be okay.“It could have been much worse. A neighbour of mine had to be dug out from the wreckage of his home,” she said. Nobody was killed in the tornado which reached winds of up to 145 mph but two have been critically injured.Bronagh’s close friend, Dolores Deasley, who also moved to the US on a soccer scholarship, has been a tower of strength to the 31 year old sports management lecturer from the University of Mississippi.“Dolores lives just half a mile from me and nothing happened to her home. She has been so good to me and I would have been lost without her,” said Bronagh.Amazingly Bronagh revealed that this is the second time she had had a brush with Mother Nature’s most dangerous elements. “I was here for Hurricane Katrina to but the damage was superficial around here compared to this.“You have to be positive about it all. Nobody was hurt and it’s only material damage which can be fixed.“You just got to brush yourself down and get on with it,” she said.DONEGAL WOMAN’S HOME DESTROYED BY TORNADO AS SHE VISITS MARDI GRAS was last modified: February 14th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:AmericaBronagh GalagherletterkennyMIssissippitornadolast_img read more

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Chelsea January transfer news LIVE

first_imgTransfers Chelsea January transfer news LIVE: Ronaldo considers Blues move Goal Last updated 1 year ago 00:45 1/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Transfers Chelsea Premier League Goal brings you all the latest news, rumours and deals related to the Blues as the January transfer window heats up Ronaldo considers Chelsea moveReal Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is weighing up a move to Chelsea this summer, according to  The Sun .Ronaldo is keen to leave Santiago Bernabeu after this season, with the Premier League his prefered destination.Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester United, however, has ruled out a return to Old Trafford. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Chelsea, though, are keen to take advantage and bring the Portugal captain to Stamford Bridge.My future is down to Conte – BatshuayiMichy Batshuayi Chelsea Newcastle 28012018After scoring a brace against Newcastle on Sunday, Chelsea striker MIchy Batshuayi has admitted that his future at the club is in the hands of manager Antonio Conte. The Belgian has been linked with a loan move as the Premier League champions continue to be linked with a host of strikers to help compliment Alvaro Morata.When asked by BT Sport about his future following the game, Batshuayi replied: “It’s up to the boss, it’s better to talk to Conte.”Read the full story on Goal right here! Pellegri explains Monaco movePietro Pellegri MonacoItalian wonderkid Pietro Pellegri has explained that Monaco’s famous talent for youth development persuaded him to choose the club over a host of top European sides.Monaco completed the signing of 16-year-old Pellegri from Genoa for a reported fee of €25 million on Saturday.The forward, who was linked with Serie A champions Juventus as well as Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, has agreed a long-term deal at Stade Louis II.Read the full story on Goal right here! Arsenal & Chelsea scout Rochdale teenagerRochdale manager Keith HillArsenal and Chelsea have both made enquiries about signing Rochdale’s teenage midfielder Daniel Adshead, reports ESPN.The 16-year-old has made seven appearances for Dale this season after making his first-team debut for the League One club back in September.He has been scouted regularly by Arsenal and Chelsea, who are now preparing to step up their interest as Rochdale manager Keith Hill attempts to hold on to Adshead.Man City plot £150m Hazard moveEden Hazard ChelseaManchester City are ready to launch an astonishing £150 million bid for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, according to the Daily Mirror .Hazard is currently in a contract deadlock with the Blues, and if that still stands in the summer City will look to rival Real Madrid for the Belgian’s signature.Though City refused to pay big money for Alexis Sanchez before he joined Manchester United, they believe Hazard represents greater value, and Pep Guardiola is willing to sanction a move.Bayern ready to offload Vidal Arturo Vidal Bayern MunichBayern Munich are ready to sell Arturo Vidal this summer and Manchester United are ready to swoop, reports Bild (via the Manchester Evening News ). Chelsea are also said to be interested, with Antonio Conte having coached the midfielder at Juventus. Blues improve Dzeko bid Edin Dzeko, AS RomaChelsea are ready to make an improved bid for Edin Dzeko, according to the Sunday Express . Antonio Conte wants to add the striker and Roma team-mate Emerson Palmieri, but the Dzeko is demanding a two-and-a-half year contract and the Blues are only prepared to offer an 18-month deal. Luis Enrique top of Chelsea’s list to replace ConteLuis Enrique Deportivo Alaves Barcelona Copa del Rey 05272017Luis Enrique is Chelsea’s top target to replace Antonio Conte, with the Italian set to leave the club, report the Mail on Sunday .Enrique left Barcelona in the summer, and his availability has seen him placed above the likes of Massimiliano Allegri and Diego Simeone in the club’s pecking order.It is understood that Conte is set to either resign or be sacked in the coming months, having clashed with the club’s players – notably Diego Costa – and hierarchy in recent months.Pep: Quadruple is too expensiveSergio Aguero Kevin De Bruyne David Silva Manchester CityManchester City can’t afford to buy 22 top players according to Pep Guardiola, who claims the club are limited in their spending.The City boss’ comments come after both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte said their clubs couldn’t compete with the money spent by Guardiola. Check out his response right here. Chelsea could pull the plug on Dzeko Dzeko Genoa RomaChelsea have made progress in talks over a transfer for Roma duo Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri, but will move on if a deal isn’t reached by the end of the weekend, reports The Telegraph . The Blues have agreed to a contract with Emerson but have yet to come to terms with Dzeko, whose demands are complicating the deal.If Chelsea fail to land Dzeko, they’ll move on to other striker targets like Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, Stoke City’s Peter Crouch and Burnley’s Ashley Barnes.last_img read more