Thursday, 22 July 2010

Film: Football Fables by Baff Akoto

A trailer for the award winning film Football Fables which lifts the lid on African football migration. Meet some of the best young talent in the world and the middle men who earn a living making sure its their cream that rises to the top!

Award winning director Baff Akoto talks with Monita Rajpal about his new film "Football Fables" on CNN's Inside Africa show

***There’s a really weird place you get to when you own a model agency, –and you start to feel like a pimp [you are selling a person, after all] –and I guess those who sponsor footballers in Ghana must feel the same, -because beauty like football skills –saves lives [especially in Ghana], -turning those at the very top of-their-game into international stars [and every member of the Facebook/Myspace generation wants to be a star]! -But I’ll never forget the day I was doing research on Footballers of Ghanaian origin and stumbled across a Wikipedia page [it had a comprehensive list of most of our prolific players] –and the shock of finding [some of] our lesser known players -playing for clubs in countries like: Mumbai FC (India), Hoang Anh Gia Lai (Vietnam), FC Akzhayik (Kazakhstan), Dalian Shide (China), Jeju United FC (South Korea), FC Ceahlăul Piatra Neamţ [Romania], Sporting Cristal (Peru), Polis Di-Raja Malaysia Football Association, FC Kuban (Russian), JEF United Ichihara Chiba (Japan), Hapoel Nazareth Illit F.C (Israel), MKE Ankaragücü (Turkey) and even clubs in much poorer African countries like the Central African Republic [Sporting Club de Bangui]; -places you know can be difficult/racists and lonely for a young African man on his own [needs must –I guess].

I presume, if you’re a young hopeful -fighting poverty; with the weight of your entire family on your shoulders, –and a sponsor [who’s been feeding you and your family for years] –wanting his ‘share-of-the-deal’ -you’ll take any club [in any city, in any country] if you aren’t the next Michael Essien, –just to get paid! And I understand that –because on one hand it’s truly wonderful to use your God given talents to make a living -but on the other hand –I really feel for these lesser known players –because not only are they dealing with obvious physical limitations [football is tough on the body] –and thus like models, -footballer only have a short career lifespan –but many return back home burnt out, -with no pension to see them through their twilight years…

I remember the wonderful Kwaku Ofosu Asare [presenter of 'Sports with Kwaku' -OBE Television] hosting an event with German/Ghanaian footballer, Anthony Baffoe to raise money for old Ghanaian players on OBE TV sometime back; –I wonder, is the Ghanaian government doing anything for past national players?  Anyway, the following is a review about the above film by Baff Akoto [I'm afraid I haven't seen it yet but can't wait to watch it] ....enjoy

Documentarian Baff Akoto follows the path of emerging footballers from their African homelands to the bright lights of Europe's big league.

Exposing the extent to which Europe’s top clubs seek to plunder African talent on the cheap, this is a sobering insight into grassroots football. With visas limited to established stars and agents being prepared to rip off everybody to line their own pockets, making the leap from local celebrity to overseas superstar is a dispiriting business. Indeed, for every Sulley Muntari, there are hundreds of Francis Boadis, who catch the eye of scouts in their youth but never get to fulfil their dreams. Contrasting the manager and academy systems that operate in Ghana, this acute documentary also captures the pitiable poverty that instils in these gifted kids the desire to succeed.

An insightful and, at times, sobering journey through a multi-billion dollar industry. [Reviewed by David Parkinson  for]  -Credit:

For cinema listings and more info about Football Fables / Baff Akoto please visit:

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