Victoria, a 22-year-old Nigerian football fan has now been forced into prostitution in Russia.
The female spectator (second name withheld) and travel enthusiast has not returned to Nigeria eight months after the 2018 FIFA World Cup has ended.
Victoria went from Benin City on a World Cup FAN ID, but on arrival, the 22-year-old discovered she had been trafficked into prostitution.
A woman came to meet her at the airport, took her to a flat and told her to take off her clothes and ever since Victoria has been forced to take up street prostitution against her wish.
“She took my passport and my Fan ID,” Victoria said while narrating are ordeal to anti-trafficking NGO; Alternativa after she managed to escape.
“I want to stay in Russia,” Vitoria reportedly said at the NGO’s central Moscow office.
READ ALSO: Why Nigerian Fans Still In Russia After World Cup
“Not to stay permanently – I just want to have some money, so that at least when I go back to Nigeria I can start a business,” she added.
A 20-year-old who has also been forced into prostitution since she after the World Cup ended in July last year, revealed that a lot of young girls were trafficked during the June 2018 World Cup.
But others who were trafficked are in a state of limbos, said Progress (Not real name) at the NGO’s Office.
“A lot of the girls who came here are still working. They are too scared to leave,” she told the NGO.
Russian Interior Ministry reported last week that the number of fans remaining in Russia illegally beyond the deadline had been reduced during January, but still stood at 5,500.
According to Evgeni Yastrebov, a consultant on immigration issues with Civic Assistance Committee, an organisation that works with refugees in Russia told the BBC in an interview, that many of those fans have been stranded in Russia and desperately in need of help.
“Many of them came from Nigeria, with some from Cameroon, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“They were looking to apply for asylum and stay here and that didn’t work out and now many of them are getting deported on a daily basis.
“The [Russian] government offers no assistance to people who want to seek asylum and stay in Russia and right now these people are struggling.
“Right now it’s winter and it’s very cold and they need warm clothing. Some of them get money sent to them from home and some engage in unofficial jobs but they are underpaid and it’s not enough to take care of themselves.”
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