FIFPRO warns players (and their families) to be very careful when dealing with agents offering them trials or contracts with professional football clubs.
FIFPRO received complaints from players and parents who paid thousands of euros to people pretending to arrange trials at or contracts with football clubs, but never delivered.
These people pretend to be working for agencies.
For example, FIFPRO received complaints about fake agents calling themselves Pascal Carbon and Michel Caremier. In reality, Carbon and Caremier are officially registered agents with the French football federation, but fake agents are using their identity for illegal activities.
“They sent me documents of Cardiff City and asked me to pay 2,980 euro”
The fake Pascal Carbon also uses social media to communicate with players. However, he is not the agent in the photos on his accounts. The real agent in the photos told us that he has no relationship with the fake agent and is trying to have the pictures removed from these social media channels.
Approached players are among others sent documents containing names of clubs who are not involved with the fake agent. The names of the directors also appear to be counterfeit.
The swindlers seduce players by telling them that they can arrange a trial or a contract with a professional football club. But before doing this, the player must pay them for among others a registration fee, an insurance, a deposit, travel costs or accommodation.
Once a player pays, the agent arranges nothing.
“They sent me documents of Cardiff City and asked me to pay 2,980 euro,” said a young player from Senegal, whose aunt paid the “deposit” required for a contract. “When nothing happened, I asked them to return my money. It is a huge disappointment for me and my aunt who wanted to help me.”
A mother from Russia said she paid 5,450 euro, expecting her son would get a trial at Newcastle United. “We first had to pay a 210 euro registration fee, then 740 euro for health insurance, and then 4,500 euro for accommodation. If we did not pay for the accommodation, we would not receive the documents…”
A young Egyptian player refused to pay after receiving information from the agency. “He told me that he got me a trial. But when I read his information and website, I noticed that the stories were fake. I read the same stories on other websites too.”
Later various other agents contacted him, he said. “They used the same documents, only the amount or name would differ.”
“It is confusing, as they are using names of real agents.”
When you are approached FIFPRO advises you to …
Never pay an agent before signing a contract with a club
Only work with an agent you have seen and spoken with
Check if the agent is registered with a football association
Never sign a deal with an agent without first seeking legal advice
Ask if the club knows you are coming for a trial or knows the agent.