The action on the football field at the recently concluded 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar bore the strong imprint of African migration — and the stink of corruption. France’s Kylian Mbappe, one of the tournament’s best scorers and an early contender for best player, was born to a Cameroonian father, as was his teammate Aurélien Tchouaméni. Cody Gakpo, another top scorer from the Netherlands, was born to a Togolese father. The tournament’s youngest player, 18-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko, plays for Germany but was born in Cameroon, says a report on

In the 13th match of the World Cup, the Swiss striker Breel Embolo gently held his hands up after scoring the winning goal against Cameroon. Stopping himself from celebrating was a sign of respect: He had just scored his first-ever World Cup goal against the country where he was born, and where his father still lives.

Embolo was one of 136 soccer players in Qatar representing countries other than the ones in which they were born. At this World Cup, an astonishing 16% of players crossed borders to pursue their sport, shining an even stronger spotlight on the dynamics of immigration in international sport, says And you can certainly add corruption here as a key factor driving the immigration of these players, with the biggest loser being Africa.

How Africa suffers due to corruption

About half of the players on France’s national team were of African descent. A story on says corruption is rife in Africa when it comes to national team call-ups, and merits are not taken into account.

Star French player Kylian Mbappe’s father Wilfried bears this out: “At first, I wanted my son to play for Cameroon but someone at the Cameroon Football Federation charged a sum of money that I didn’t have to make him play. The French didn’t charge anything.”

Can you imagine the wealth of football stars African nations would have if they didn’t ask players to pay to play for their football teams? Imagine what would have happened to Ronaldo and Messi if they were born in Africa! African nations can never hope to win big until corruption is eliminated there. 

Corruption costs both huge amounts of money and precious lives to countries all over the world. Corruption and bribery impact and cause severe harm to businesses, including causing financial loss, dire legal consequences, brand damage, damage to an organisation’s reputation, and impedes sustainable development.

CRI® Group experts have years of experience and have been trained to provide your business with bespoke advice that fits your organisation’s needs. Implement preventative measures in your workplace today and guide your team to an ethical and corruption-free way of working. 


Who is CRI Group™?

Based in London, CRI Group™ works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceTPRMDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions, and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, and is an HRO-certified provider, and partners with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group™ launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC™) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management SystemISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management system (CMS)Anti-Money Laundering (AML); and ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems ABMS. ABAC™ offers a complete suite of solutions designed to help organisations mitigate the internal and external risks associated with operating in multi-jurisdiction and multi-cultural environments while assisting in developing frameworks for strategic compliance programs. Contact ABAC™ for more on ISO Certification and training.

CRI Group’s EmploySmart™ — a pre-employment background screening process, can boost your fraud prevention efforts and provide a “boots on the ground” approach to extensive background checking.


The CRI Group™ invites you to schedule a quick appointment with them to discuss in more detail how we can help reduce the risk of bribery and corruption occurring and demonstrate to your stakeholders that you have put in place internationally recognised good-practice anti-bribery and anti-corruption controls.