Tales of The Flesh Trade

The East bloc reaps profits by selling its talent to the West

When the coaches of the Eintracht professional soccer team in Frankfurt, West Germany, went shopping for a top star to boost their squad's flagging performance, they first considered the usual procedure: raiding the rosters of their West European competitors. Then Eintracht's scouts decided to look east, and a powerful young Hungarian soon caught their eye. As it happened, the sports authorities in Communist Hungary were delighted to discuss trading a winning player for hard currency. After weeks of bargaining, the two sides cut a deal. Last fall Hungary's top star, Lajos Detari, 24, began playing in West Germany on a three-year...

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