Alhassan Kamara retires to avoid wheelchair fate

Alhassan Kamara retires to avoid wheelchair fate
Alhassan Kamara (BK Haecken) - and Willi Orban (RB Leipzig). Photo by Pixathlon/Shutterstock (9771544dd)

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 27, 2021. 08:46

Sierra Leone international Alhassan Kamara has retired from professional football, having been warned that he could have ended up in a wheelchair.

The 28-year-old, who is also known as ‘Crespo’, had been on the books of Swedish side IFK Varnamo since March 2021, joining from Halmstads BK.

He has also represented Panetolikos (Greece), BK Hacken, Orebro SK, AIK, Bodens BK (all Sweden) and FC Kallon (Sierra Leone) in his club career, while he also has 16 caps and four goals for the Leone Stars at international level.

“I took the decision based on the advice of a knee specialist in Sweden who told me to discontinue my career as further damage to the knee could see me end up in a wheelchair,” Kamara told BBC Sport.

“When I got the injury while playing in Greece in 2018, I was also told by doctors I would not be able to play again. But I didn’t listen and I returned to Sweden to make a comeback.

“It’s a tough decision because it wasn’t part of my plan to end my career now. I’m disappointed and having sleepless nights. But the decision is good for me.”

The decision removes any chance of Kamara playing for Sierra Leone at the Africa Cup of Nations next year. He had not played for the national team since 2018, but still had hopes of representing his nation at their first AFCON since 1996.

“My dream, just like any other player, is to play in a major tournament for my country,” he insisted. “We’ve now qualified for the African Cup of Nations finals but sadly I won’t be there – it’s not meant to be.

“I’m proud of the players who qualified the team and who will make it to Cameroon. I’ll be giving my full support. I’ll miss the excitement before and after the match, scoring goals, seeing team-mates and the fans.”

Kamara is set to become a scout for Varnamo and will also work with young people in communities in Sweden.

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