They are a company that runs soccer 'schools' and camps for young players that aspire to play professional soccer on day. But does Kaptiva sport live up to its promises or something else is going on here? Hopefully after reading this in a couple of minutes you will be able to answer that question concerning these people and their company (and even provide your own feedback, if you have personal experience, for people to be aware of what's the score here...).
First of all, it is noteworthy that Kaptiva Sports is listed under a different name (!…) as ‘Boca Juniors Soccer Club’ in the records of the Better Business Bureau where more than one Official Complaints have already been filed against them. The Bureau is currently inquiring for possible fraudulent practices based on documents and proof provided to it, and I trust it will soon reach a verdict.
Also in http://talking-soccer.com/TS4/showthread.php?t=146749 there is a report titled BRJSC-Soccer Solutions USA-Kaptiva Sports (SUPER Y LEAGUE FRAUD). I understand from what I read there that the Authorities conducted an investigation during 2016.
To start with: these people declare (in their website) that they are running the ‘first and only official soccer academy of FC Barcelona in the United States’. Well, maybe, just maybe, the _official_ website of FC Barcelona in the U.S. (http://fcbarcelona.us) may have VERY serious objections to that claim...
Furthermore this ‘Kaptiva Sports’ claims it offers FC Barcelona Schools (‘Escola’) and Camps in various U.S. cities. Especially for the Camps (one of which my 14-year-old son attended during the summer of 2016), they say that the players are assessed by FC Barcelona Escola coaches, and the top players from all the Camps are finally ‘selected’ to form a team that will travel to Spain in order to participate to the Mediterranean International Camp (MIC 2017) in Costa Brava. Yet another team under the name of ‘Kaptiva Escola’ shall be formed by players attending their ‘FC Barcelona School’ in Florida.
On December 21st 2016 we received an email stating that my son was ‘pre-selected’ by ‘FC Barcelona Escola coaches’ to be part of this ‘Camp’ team. ‘Only players of the highest level were pre-selected’, they said. But WHO were the coaches that made this selection? Were they _official and certified_ coaches who work for FC Barcelona in Spain or they are perhaps Kaptiva’s employees from their Florida ‘school’? Soon you will see why this a _crucial_ question (that they never answered to me…)
In this email my son was ‘directed’ (in red ink and ‘shouting’, capital letters!!) NOT to let anybody or the social media know about his pre-selection!!! That way he was implicitly ‘forced to secrecy’ for what is supposed to be an honor and reason for celebration and sharing with everybody, for reasons that we could not comprehend at this time (but soon became OB-VI-OUS…).
Then, on Jan, 21st 2017 (after we responded that we were interested in participating, as they asked us to do in the first email), we received another email stating that my son was selected to be in the team of 18 players that would comprise the ‘Kaptiva Camp USA’ team. We were asked to pay the $1,500 participation fee, in two installments.
And this was where this ordeal started. Here are some points, in ascending order of importance (i.e. they can also be read from no. 4 to no. 1 below, but I chose to present them in somewhat ‘chronological’ order):
- In the online brochure they sent us initially, they presented a plethora of interesting optional activities during the teams’ stay in Spain. It was only AFTER we paid the participation fee in full that they sent us the final program, in which almost all of these activities and options were gone!!
- Despite the danger of hurting my son’s feelings, I was considering of cancelling his participation anyway, since I started to form the impression that this company was only interested in selling fake expectations to small, unsuspected kids and their parents. Hence - _before_ paying the second installment - I specifically asked whether their soccer teams are _filled to capacity_, and on March 8th, I received an email with a very clear ‘YES’. This proved _totally untrue_, as I ascertained when we finally met with the rest of the players in Barcelona in April. In my son’s team, less than 80% of the ‘selected’ players finally enrolled!
I believe that I was intentionally misinformed by their employee, in order to get me to pay the rest of the amount and not cancel my son’s participation. If so, we are looking at fraud here.
- As I mentioned, from all the ‘extravagant’ optional activities originally advertised, only one or two remained. Despite the fact that they were dealing with _underage_ kids, during these optional activities NOBODY was attending the rest of the kids that didn’t participate in those! They just let them leave the hotel alone and go anywhere they wanted, in a foreign country! In one occasion they even drove them to the beach where they abandoned them, telling them that they ‘would be back after three hours to drive them back’!!!
- Both their ‘Kaptiva Escola Team USA’ (which also had much less than the advertised 18 players…) as well as our ‘Kaptiva Camp Team USA’ were _badly crashed_ during the tournament, in a very disgraceful manner (with scores like 5-0 or even 9-0!!) by almost every team they played, reputable or non-reputable!!
Well…could this solve the ‘secrecy mystery’ of their first ‘pre-selection’ email allegedly sent to ‘only the highest-graded players’?... Is it possible that these people _lied_ and sent that email to EVERYBODY, trying to gather participation responses, and _that’s why_ they ‘ordered’ the kids not to tell anyone and refrain from posting on social media?
And then, when some people responded and confirmed, they proceeded to the ‘final selection’ (IF there was a selection at all, judging from the small number of players that finally traveled to Spain…). But even if there was a ‘selection’, was it then based on grades by the ‘Escola coaches’ (whoever they are….) or just the players’ financial ability and commitment to pay for this overseas trip, REGARDLESS of their soccer skills?....
It would be very interesting to contact the real FC Barcelona and ask them a simple question: ‘Did you and/or your _certified_ people, have ANYTHING to do, anything at all, with that selection process or was it all just a cheap scheme?’
My lawyer is currently in the process of hiring an interpreter to send a letter to the real FC Barcelona in Spain with that question. Depending on their answer, I will consider legal action against that ‘Kaptiva’ company, both in Spain as well as in the U.S.
Their Spanish ‘Kaptiva Academy juvenile team’ was also dis-qualified during the first round of the Tournament (MIC 2017), and played in the ‘Consolation’ round where the bottom teams participate. Among these bottom teams, they were ranked first. Well, look at their Facebook posting, after that (I have a screenshot, in case they erase it):
‘Congratulations to our KSA Juvenil Team, finalist at the MIC’ !!!!!!!
Need I write more concerning who these people really are and what is their role? They even sent emails with a very similar, ‘dithyrambic’ (and _highly misleading_) header to everybody after the tournament, in a CLEAR attempt to trick people, especially in the U.S.!!
I don’t know if the BBB in Florida has the power to send these people to Justice for multiple violations of the Law and possible fraudulent practices, should they ascertain that their so-called company is in the business of selling fake prospects and compromising the dreams of innocent kids, taking advantage of the fact that Americans know little about soccer and thus may be easily deceived. But we will surely find out! As for their (so highly advertised, in their website) ‘Elite Spanish Academy’, please ask them in which category of the local Spanish Federation of youth soccer it participates. Their answer will be in _total sync_ with the impression that you must have clearly formed of them by now… (yes, yes, ‘they play each week against top teams’, of course, we believe you… Then why is it _nowhere_ to be found in the local Federation high-rank listings?).
Oh, and by the way, wouldn’t it be a good idea for these people to arrange a short visit for the USA players (and possibly parents) to that…famous ‘Kaptiva Academy’ of theirs, while being in Barcelona? Why didn’t they?...
Be _extremely_ careful! The cost – both financial are well as psychological – is dear. In my view, it is _a pity and a shame_ that such people are still allowed to be in business. But fortunately I assembled and possess all (written) documentation to make sure that the Law is enforced.