English club snubs Mohamed Kallon

17 September 2007 at 15:59 | 5594 views

By Abu B. Shaw, London.

This is another heavy punch for the belly of Sierra Leonean soccer. The country’s sole
football ambassador, Mohamed Kallon, has been told that he is not fit to
play in England.

English Premier League outfit, Birmingham City, who unleashed the big blow
on Kallon after two weeks of trial with them, could not give a credible
reason for pulling the plug on the Sierra Leone front man.

The reason given by Birmingham City, currently placed 12th on the league
table, for their action was that the Home Office is likely to refuse Kallon
a work permit to play in England.

Steve Bruce, Birmingham City manager said last week: “It would have been
very difficult to get him a work permit.”

But Alhaji Jalloh, a Sierra Leonean football agent and former manager of
Kamboi Eagles FC of Kenema in Sierra Leone, disagrees with Steve Bruce’s
reason for turning down striker Kallon.

Alhaji Jalloh, known in Sierra Leone as ‘Popular TM’ said it is very
unlikely that the work permit is the reason. He said: “Kallon has captained
the Sierra Leone national team, the Leone Stars, time without number which
automatically qualifies him to play anywhere in the world.”

“FIFA rule stipulates that a player who has played for his country at senior
level for more than 70% is permissible to play for any club without
restriction. Kallon obviously fits that regulation,” noted Alhaji Jalloh.

Speaking from London, Alhaji Jalloh said a possible reason for the breakdown
was that Kallon and Birmingham City did not agree on financial terms because
of his status as a free agent. Another reason might be that Kallon is
a surplus player as Birmingham City have many optional strikers who
are stronger and aggressive as required in English football.

Alhaji Jalloh believes Mohamed Kallon, who netted a goal for Birmingham City
in a friendly match during his two weeks trial, is a natural goal poacher
who could have fitted well in any team in Europe.

Kallon, 27, recently released as a free agent by AS Monaco of
France, has played at Inter Milan alongside Brazil’s Ronaldo, three times
former World Player of Year.