Why many African football players end up broke after their careers

There are many cases of bankrupt ex-African footballers that were once dollar millionaires.

It has been observed that this act is not necessarily for the love of the game but the fear of going financially broke.

According to the result of Alec Fenn investigations, a fondness for excessive luxurious lifestyles and addiction to gambling  has  led many former millionaire footballers to financial ruin.

For African footballers, there are much more factors causing the financial down-size.

These are some of the factors that usually drive many African players to bankruptcy.

1. Huge Family Dependence

Many African players encounter similar financial challenges stemming from huge family dependence. The players are faced with meeting financial needs of immediate and extended families  which may serve as a drain on their wealth.

This trend continues after retiring from the game, and the effect is greater considering the player's ability to earn is greatly reduced.

2. Extremely luxurious Lifestyle

One constant feature of most footballers is their love for the finer things in life. As such, most African players try to maintain this lifestyle even though there is limited financial inflows as a result of retiring from the game.

According to the Crictoday, a lavish lifestyle accounts for the poor financial state of many African players. This trend can also be observed among veteran footballers in Nigeria. They want to keep their previous lifestyle and social engagements which comes at a huge financial cost.

3. Gambling, Drugs and Alcohol Abuse

Due to the loneliness that accompanies their exit from the game, many African players take to gambling or drugs to hold onto their self-esteem.

Players in this category include Jabu Pule Mahlangu and many undocumented cases in Nigeria. Jabu stated about his alcoholic state: “I’ve never shied away from the fact that I come from a background of alcoholics. Alcohol was part of my life… fact!”

4. Bad or non existent Investments

Many of these players have a fear of investments

Many spend as much as they earn, with no planning or svings. Celestine Babayaro

5. Lack of proper planning for life after football

One last point is lack of planning for life after football. Many ex-internationals from other continents like Thierry Henry, Vieira, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane among others are now serving as sports administrators, coach or sports pundits.

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