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African Cup of Istanbul

This project focuses on African soccer players in Turkey. This country, where there is a real passion for the sport, boasts numerous professional clubs and has been attracting a growing number of players from the African continent over the last ten years, hoping to make a living from their art and be spotted to join a prominent club or be recruited by European coaches. Seduced by the promises of unscrupulous agents, who promise them a dazzling career and then abandon them once they've arrived, several hundred of them end up in Istanbul. Most of them in a precarious situation. Nevertheless, they can count on the solidarity of their communities and, above all, the players who came before them. Often reconverted into coaches or managers following an injury or because of their age, the latter try to spare the newcomers the difficulties they have had to face.


On the initiative of two of these former footballers, the African Cup of Nations, organized since 2008, enables Istanbul's African community to get together in a festive atmosphere. For the players of the 16 different teams, it's above all an opportunity to prove themselves on the pitch, hoping to be spotted by a headhunter.


By following various players, coaches and agents, not only on the pitch but also in their daily life, professional and family lives, we paint a portrait of these "soccer immigrants", their relationship with Turkey, a country where it's not always where to be a foreigner, their passion for a sport that their hopes of success and sometimes allows them to forget the difficulties of daily life

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