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Marshall Munetsi warns fellow African players on fake football agents

France-based Zimbabwe Warriors star Marshall Munetsi has warned African footballers about people who masquerade as football agents.

Munetsi who is now a member of the FIFPRO Global Player Council expressed his concern about the issue saying it is “one of the main reasons why he joined the council”.

FIFPRO is a platform for active players with international experience, which ensure viewpoints from men’s and women’s football and different leagues from around the world are heard.

Quoted on the organisation’s website, the Stade Reims midfielder said: “I joined FIFPRO’s Global Player Council earlier this year. The council acts as a voice for professional footballers. We provide a player’s perspective on a range of matters, such as the international match calendar, employment standards, the use of personal data, and social media abuse.

“One of the main reasons I joined the council was to help address the issue of fake agents. It is a subject I’m passionate about and it is a subject that has become a big challenge, especially in Africa,” revealed Munetsi.

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“Coming from Zimbabwe, I have seen friends and former team-mates lose a lot of money – money they worked hard to earn, money their parents worked hard to earn – due to people pretending to be a football agent. I saw this a lot when I played in South Africa.

“A lot of these players were given false promises and sold dreams of playing in Europe. I know some who even flew to Europe only to arrive at the airport and find out no-one was there; the money had already been taken from them by these fake agents with nothing to show for it.

“As players, we need to take note of warnings that we get from FIFPRO and player unions on this. If someone claiming to be a football agent has contacted you through Instagram with a club offer, it only takes five minutes to call your union and ask if this person is registered with FIFA or not.

“It could save you being scammed out of thousands. It is up to us as players to take responsibility in asking our unions for advice. They are here for the players. When a player speaks out individually, they can become a single target. But when you are part of a union, when you are part of a collective, it gives footballers the voice to raise our concerns.

“A union enables us to find solutions without impacting us as individuals. They play an important role for players.

“I first got involved with the domestic union of Zimbabwe, and then later FIFPRO Africa, when I started playing for the senior national team in 2018.”

The 26-year-old utility player is also continuing to send a passionate plea to the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) as well as the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) to find common ground following Zimbabwe’s suspension from FIFA due to “third party interference”.