An undercover BBC investigation has exposed how young African footballers are being conned out of thousands of dollars. Gavin Lee explains how Isaiah Akpan fell victim to a Nigerian scam.
‘I was victim of Nigeria football conmen’
“The memory of that incident always kind of shocks me,” says Isaiah Akpan.
Mr Akpan, like thousands of soccer-mad African teenagers, puts his details on sports networking websites.
He shakes his head as he recalls the gamble he took in the hope of achieving his dream of football stardom in the richest league in the world, the English Premiership.
Instead of taking the first step to sporting fame and fortune, he fell victim to conmen who left him penniless – stranded and alone in a foreign country.
“They promised a club but did not mention the specific name of the club,” he recalls.
“They said that I would have to go for a trial in Singapore in Asia. Then after two three months they would transfer me to UK.”
Mr Akpan was told that as a formality, he would first have to pay a $500 (£250) registration fee.
But, after Mr Akpan handed over the money, the men disappeared.
He was left stranded and alone in a foreign country with no money to get home.
I haven’t heard good things from Nigeria, only frauds basically like the rather famous Nigerian Letter 419 fraud.