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'Unprofessionalism' almost made me quit football - AFC Leopards legend Okwemba

13:48 GMT+3 23/03/2020
Sofapaka midfielder Charles Okwemba celebrates goal
In an extensive interview with Goal, the former midfielder has revealed the best player he played with as well as best coach he worked under

AFC Leopards legend Charles Okwemba has revealed he almost quit football due to unprofessionalism.

The 40-year has spent more than two decades on the pitch and is remembered as one of the finest midfielders Kenya had ever produced. Okwemba made his debut in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) in 1998 while at Shabana FC despite being just 17-years-old and in high school.

"I am a fighter and love football, but unprofessionalism from players, administrators and some fans piss me off," Okwemba told Goal on Monday.

"This is the reason why we are still struggling with our football, it almost made me quit. Football is administered casually, we have not taken it seriously. I collided with many players and tacticians but I stood my ground and kept performing to my level best."

Okwemba has also pointed out on coaches who held their ethics in the line of duty.

"Jacob 'Ghost' Mulee and Luc Eymael were very professional in the way they handled the players and their duties in general. They were not influenced to make decisions that had no value to the team.

"I still regard them highly for their positive input to our football; I wish other coaches could borrow a leaf."

During his 20-year active football, the creative midfielder played with many top players. However, he has opined on who he feels was the best and why he thinks so.

"Francis Xavier, Dennis Chweya, Bernard Mang'oli, Martin Imbalambala, Mike Baraza, Paul Were, and Allan Wanga are just some of the top players I played with.

"However, Ramadhan Balala tops the list; he was a great dribbler, and rarely lost possession. He got us out of trouble severally and to me, he was the best I played with," Okwemba concluded.

Okwemba helped Leopards to win the Shield Cup in 2001, 2009 and 2013.