Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
FIFA have joined the international community in condemning what has been called modern day slavery in Libya.
An undercover investigation by CNN last year revealed a shocking trade in humans and it ignited protests around the world and international condemnation. The world football authority said the act was deeply worrying and ‘totally unacceptable’.
Responding to questions from Chronicle Sport, Fifa also said while issues related to human trafficking, like any other criminal activity, fall within the competence of the relevant national and international authorities (police, judicial, governmental) it certainly welcomed measures that show authorities are taking them very seriously.
“The reports you mention from Libya are shocking, deeply worrying and totally unacceptable.
Please note that Fifa can only regulate activities within the scope of organised football. Issues related to human trafficking, like any other criminal activity, fall within the competence of the relevant national and international authorities (police, judicial, governmental). Such matters are outside Fifa’s jurisdiction, although we certainly welcome measures that show authorities are taking them very seriously,” said Fifa.
The slave trade movement has since been presented to the International Criminal Court by the highly respected CNN that saw Libya itself opening investigation into slave markets operating in the country following the exclusive report. The probe is being overseen by the government’s Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), an inter-governmental organisation based in Geneva that focuses on managing migration, welcomed Libya’s investigation but warned that “the smuggling networks are becoming stronger, more organised and better equipped.”
While the international community has been steadfast in the condemnation of slave trade in Libya, African football authorities, Caf, have been silent and are yet to publicly condemn the act despite a number of emails sent to them.
Libya is a member of both Caf and Fifa and their teams as well as officials compete in the Caf run competitions like the Champions League and Confederation Cup.— @skhumoyo2000.