We nicknamed him “Doudou” and it is with this diminutive that he will stay. He was 14 and like many children his age, he dreamed of becoming a professional footballer. He had taken the oath one evening when he went to bed to join a major European club to have a brilliant career. He wanted to get rich and famous to help his family. This dream of a lost child will never come true.
Originally from Mbour, 80 kilometers south of Dakar, Doudou Faye was a young Senegalese gifted for football. Student in 3rd, the first elements of the investigation said that he was already a boarder in a training center in Saly, a seaside resort near the capital. This institute opened its doors in 2003 under the leadership of Jimmy Adjovi-Boco, Bernard Lama and Patrick Vieira to train the best Senegalese nuggets, the future “Lions of Teranga”. Information taken by the local authorities and Bernard Lama once our article was published, Doudou would never have set foot in the center.
Anyway, his father saw it differently: for him, Saly was too small. Paris, Milan, London: this is what, according to him, suited his little wonder as tall as three apples.
He was told that his son has a future in Europe. Recruiters promised him that Doudou would become the greatest player of his generation. Mamadou Lamine Faye listened. Worse, he believed these unscrupulous intermediaries who told him that a pro club, probably in Italy according to the first observations, was waiting for his son on a carpet of roses.
Her mom couldn’t say goodbye to her
In a country on the verge of implosion, ravaged by the economic crisis and the desertion of tourists since the Covid-19 crisis, making money by any means is a godsend. Even if this windfall is sometimes its own son …
At the end of October, Doudou’s dad paid 250,000 CFA francs (around 380 euros) to smugglers to transport his toddler by boat to Spain at night with a stopover in the Canaries. Charge here to other exploiters of the misery to pass it in France or in Italy, towards Eldorado.
His wife was not made aware of this criminal enterprise. She couldn’t say goodbye to her son. Alone and terrified, Doudou embarked with other migrants piled on top of each other on a canoe to reach Spain on the Atlantic via the West African coast. A terrible and dangerous journey that thousands of Senegalese and Africans have been taking for several weeks in the hope of a better future.
Doudou fell ill shortly after departure. The traffickers did nothing to relieve him. Only his football dreams allowed him to hold out a bit but Doudou, too weakened, ended up succumbing. The smugglers got rid of him by throwing him overboard … The rare witnesses swore to the authorities that at this moment, the little boy was already dead. This will remain the official version.
“He offered his life in the belly of the Atlantic”
“His name was Doudou, he was 14 years old. His father put him in a canoe for Spain to, he says, give him a chance to succeed in life. He offered the life of Doudou to the belly of the Atlantic which only took one sip like the thousands of our young men and women swallowed up by the big blue ”, wrote on his page Facebook, Senegalese director Maky Madiba Sylla. A message widely relayed on the African continent.
In Senegal, the tragedy is causing a stir. It has become the symbol of a country in distress and the image of the dramatic clandestine emigrations. More than 1,500 migrants have been intercepted on the country’s coast in recent days. Dozens of others – a figure refuted by the Senegalese authorities – died in the same circumstances as the little man who dreamed of football.
His father Mamadou Lamine Faye was arrested on Wednesday and taken into police custody “for involuntary manslaughter and complicity in the smuggling of migrants”. The smugglers have been identified but they are still running, no doubt ready to begin their sinister task again. Doudou’s body lies at the bottom of the ocean forever.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr