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Page last updated at 10:20 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Sierra Leone's Mohammed Kallon moves to China

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie
BBC Sport, Freetown

Former Sierra Leone captain Mohamed Kallon
Kallon has been playing for the club he owns, Kallon FC in Freetown

Sierra Leone's star footballer Mohamed Kallon has signed a one-year contract with Chinese Super League (CSL) side Shaanxi Chanba FC.

Since October last year, the 30-year old has been playing for the club he owns and that bears his name, Kallon FC in Freetown.

The move was part of a plan to rebuild his career after overcoming a groin injury and also to promote the Sierra Leone league.

Kallon played eleven matches in the first round of the Sierra Leone Premier League, which ended a few weeks ago scoring only two goals.

Kallon says he has achieved his objectives and it's time to move on.

"I believe I've achieved my goals as I'm now fully fit and most importantly I've been able to add more value in the Sierra Leone league," Kallon told BBC Sport.

"I think it's the right time for me to move on to continue my professional career."

The former Leone Stars captain, who also had spells at Italian giants Inter Milan, French club Monaco and Greek side AEK Athens, is the highest profile foreign signing for a top-flight Chinese club for the upcoming season.

Shaanxi finished 12th in the CSL last season.

The new season starts on 27 March, delayed for a week because of the chaos caused by the investigation into match-fixing in Chinese professional soccer.

Kallon completed his move on Sunday and has already joined the Xian-based club for pre-season training.

The former Leone Stars skipper believes China is the best place for him as he's planning for life post-football.

"I'm engaged in doing business at the moment preparing for life after football and China is developing everyday with a lot of business opportunities and me playing there will help improve my business a lot," Kallon said.

"I had so many offers from clubs from Europe, the Gulf and South America and I must say that I'm delighted with this move.

"I have nothing to prove on the pitch and what I need now is to plan for my future and family."

He's now the second Sierra Leonean to play in China after Mamadu Alphajor Bah who played for two Chinese clubs Xiamen Lanshi FC and Zhejiang Lucheng.

This is Kallon's 16th club in a 19-year football career.

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see also
Kallon returns home
18 Oct 09 |  African
Kallon offers hope
02 Jul 09 |  African
Kallon quits Leone Stars captaincy
16 Oct 08 |  African
Kallon bails out Sierra Leone
04 Sep 08 |  African
Kallon seals move to AEK Athens
30 Jan 08 |  African
Kallon's Saudi deal collapses
28 Nov 07 |  African
Breaking new ground
04 Jun 06 |  African
Kallon seeks exit from Monaco
23 May 06 |  African
Kallon goes out on loan in Saudi
30 Jul 05 |  African

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