This case study focuses on the issue of exploitative practices even after securing professional contracts in football. The case describes a situation in Laos in 2015, where Liberian minors were transferred to an unregistered Lao football academy with poor facilities, no proper coach or medical care, and no provision for education. The players were not paid, their passports were confiscated, and they were kept in poor living conditions. The players were trapped in exploitative contracts that stipulated they could only leave when the academy had recovered all costs and expenses.
Securing a professional contract does not mean that migrant players will be safeguarded from exploitative practices. This is demonstrated by a case of illegal transfers in Laos in 2015 that provides an example of trafficking in football.
Liberian minors were transferred to an unregistered Lao football academy with no proper coach, medical facilities or provision for education. The players were never paid, their passports were taken by the club and they lived in dreadful conditions, sleeping on floors at the stadium.
Trapped in six-year contracts, the players were told that they could only leave when the academy had recovered all costs and expenses.
*Any analysis as to what can be done to protect you if you become a VoT? Rights afforded?
These are narratives but no further information is provided as to how to protect yourself or what to do – either to prevent becoming a VoT or seeking help if one has become one.