When Stade de Reims and Zimbabwe midfielder Marshall Munetsi became a member of FIFPRO’s Global Player Council, he among other things wanted to help FIFPRO raise awareness about the danger of people pretending to be agents.
I first heard about fake agents in 2015 when I was playing at Orlando Pirates in South Africa. One day, three players from Nigeria arrived at the club’s training ground with their luggage. They were supposed to meet their agent at the club, but he wasn’t there. They thought they had a contract with Orlando Pirates, but the club knew nothing about it.
They spent all their family’s money to pay the agent and get to Cape Town, expecting to get a contract. Instead, they were looking at the prospect of being thrown onto the streets. I, together with some other people at the club, helped them get back to Nigeria.
From that moment on, I realised that those instances really happen; that someone is paying money to get a trial, that someone is paying money without being guaranteed a contract.
Later, I heard more stories about players being scammed by people pretending to be agents. One of my Orlando Pirates team-mates sent money to a fake agent for travel, accommodation, and everything else. He thought he was getting a trial in Spain but when he arrived at the airport, there was nobody there.