Two Ghanaian footballers Samuel Ofori and Courage Pekuson – who traveled to Lebanon with a promise of signing for top-flight side SAFA Sporting Club have been held hostage after the move turned out to be a massive scam, GHANAsoccernet.com reports.
Striker Ofori, who previously played for Ghanaian side Medeama, and former Ghana Under-23 midfielder Pekuson, have been trapped in Beirut after officials of the club seized their passports after they refused to sign a ‘slave’ contract.
The club invited the two players under false pretenses and attempted to force them to sign contracts which they rejected.
The contract rejection angered the club officials, who have seized their passports and left on their own in the war-torn country without any protection.
The club has canceled their return flights to their native Ghana without their authorization after being caught in the crossfire, the website added.
They have been abandoned in Beirut with no trace as they fear for their lives amid an inhumane treatment being meted out to them.
The players who are represented by International Agency, LLC, have initiated moves to report the club to world governing body, FIFA while Interpol has been notified over the current ‘insane’ situation.
They have been hijacked and kidnapped against their will without no support in a foreign land.
Efforts by the players representative to get SAFA Sporting Club president Riyadh Atallah to interne in the matter has proven futile.
Courage Pekuson (right) is being held hostage in LebanonThe two players, whose visas expired on August 14, are currently living in the country illegally and have made SOS calls to get them out of the Middle East.
They were lured with false promises of signing lucrative contracts but that has turned out to be a hoax.
They left their friends and family after spending large sums of money on visas, passports and airfares to chase their dreams.
The two players. who have been tricked into leaving their respective bases in Ghana and India and are now in dire need of support.
Their mobility has been curtailed after they refused to sign the exploitative contracts – forcing his representative to move in quickly.
A report will be made to FIFA on Friday August 26, 2022 while the International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol have been informed to ensure the African players are not abused.
The two players have now missed out on the Ghana Premier League transfer window which shut on Monday.
Samuel Ofori won the goal king gong in the National Division One League last season where he scored in Nsoatreman FC’s 2-1 win over Tamale City in the promotional playoff to catapult his side to the elite division of Ghanaian football.
The tall striker bagged 21 goals in last season’s campaign which followed his 16-goal tally to help Bibiani Gold Stars to secure promotion two seasons ago.
Courage Pekuson, 27, was on the roster of Indian Kerala Blasters between 2017-2019 before deciding to switch to Lebanon.