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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Breaking Asian barriers
By Michael Oti Adjei
BBC Sport, Accra

I like to travel and discover the world so when Vietnam came up I decided to take it
Felix Aboagye

Destinations for African players travelling the world in search of fame and fortune are expanding but few would think of Vietnam as an ideal destination.

Known globally for being the centre of a war that involved the United States, the now-peaceful country is undergoing a football revolution with a number of Africans deeply involved.

Six Ghanaians are part of the African contingent that are breaking new frontiers.

But ex-international Felix Aboagye - a veteran of the 1996 and 1998 African Cup of Nations - and former Asante Kotoko striker Ebenezer Abbey are the most prominent.

Although the pair know playing in Vietnam is doing little to enhance their reputations at home, they insist their decision to go there is worthwhile.

"In Ghana some believe Vietnam is not a football nation but that's not true," says Abbey, who plays for Bighndoung FC.

"They play football on a far more professional level than Ghana," he insists.

"I am there because I feel it could be the launching pad to bigger things.

"There are agents who now consider Asia a good football hub so if I do well here, there is every chance I can get a big move to Europe."

In contrast to Abbey, Aboagye - with second division side Kahtoco FC - isn't looking for a route into Europe.

After playing for Greek side Olympiakos, as well as former African champions Ahly, he admits the money offered and a chance of an experience of playing in an unusual place had its attractions.

"I like to travel and discover the world so when Vietnam came up I decided to take it," he told BBC Sport.

"It is a good place to earn a living. There is a lot of investment in their football and the money you earn from the game is tax-free.

"They also have good match pitches and training facilities."

Members of the Ghanaian football community may be worried about the country's flight of talent. But the lure of football dollars is one that few can turn down.


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