Predators of the game

In this week’s episode of Special Assignment we expose the abuse of young boys with dreams of becoming soccer stars. Oblivious to the criminal intentions of their coaches or managers, these boys and their parents are duped into believing that they would be given opportunities to play for professional clubs. They pay astronomical amounts of money but live in bad conditions and are in the main, also sexually abused by their coaches.

This two-part Special Assignment investigation reveals this hidden but very real world of illegitimate soccer syndicates operating with impunity in South Africa. They continue to defraud unsuspecting families in various parts of the country by bringing their children to the Gauteng Province but once here, the children are told that the only way to make it into professional clubs is to have sex with these coaches. Our investigation reveals that the modus operandi of these illegal soccer coaches is similar.

We interview some of the victims and expose a number of these illegal academies in various parts of the Gauteng province. We also travel to Kwa-Zulu Natal where we witness the pain that well-meaning parents felt when they learnt about the true nature of these academies and the extent of abuse their children have been subjected to.

Watch part one of “Predators of the Game” produced by Lee McCabe and Siphiwe Linda, broadcast on Special Assignment, Mondays on SABC 3 at 21h00.