The lifecycle of African players debated at Soccerex Seminar Lagos
13 Jun 2012
The African continent has produced an amazing list of players that have graced football’s biggest stages in recent years such as Yaya Touré, Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Adebayor, Frédéric Kanouté and Nwankwo Kanu with many more plying their trade in leagues across Europe and the rest of the World. But what does the career path of today’s African stars look like? For every player making it to a top European league, how many players are left behind?
Soccerex will be tackling these issues as part of an in-depth panel on the Lifecycle of an African player for the inaugural Soccerex Seminar Lagos, 27–28 September 2012.
The panel will dissect these issues and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the next generation of African talent with an expert group of speakers that will include Anthony Baffoe, the Founder and General Secretary of the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana. Anthony has enjoyed a successful and popular football career during his time in the German Bundesliga playing for FC Köln and Fortuna Düsseldorf. He also played for Ghana at the African Cup of Nations in 1992 and 1994. Besides his role at the PFA in Ghana, he holds various functions for CAF and FIFA including as FIFA ambassador against racism.
Joining him will be a representative from the Congolese giant Tout Puissant Mazembe. TP Mazembe has reached international fame by becoming the first African club to make it to the final of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2010 by beating Internacional of Brazil. They were the first club outside of the powerhouses of Europe and South America to make it to the final.
Scandinavia, well-known for bringing talented players from abroad, nurturing them and moving them on to the larger stages of Europe, will be represented by Rolf Magne Walstad, the Sporting Director at Brann Bergen. The club is known for its track record of identifying talent from Africa and currently have Kim Ojo, Bentley Akabueze and Oumar Niasse in their ranks. Rolf himself has a deep understanding on African football and was Sporting Director at FC Lyn Oslo when they signed Nigerian John Obi Mikel who went on to gain 160 appearances for Chelsea.
They will be joined by Marko Saranlinna, an established FIFA Player Agent from Finland who has in particular worked with young African players searching for a way towards European club football for more than 10 years.
The session will be part of an agenda designed to promote industry best practice and highlight the growth potential of the region. The conference line up for the event will address key regional and international issues such as Football in West Africa, The Business of Football, Doing Business in West Africa and Social responsibility.
For more information on the Soccerex Seminar Lagos please go to www.soccerex.com/lagos.