In an interview with The National, single Muslim Wakefield revealed that he had been forced to choose between his religious and professional life.
The former Manchester United star was speaking on his own behalf, after being divorced from his wife, Kwon Min-ho, who had died in December.
Wakefield was interviewed for The National’s ‘Muslim Voices’ programme, which aired on Tuesday.
He told the program that he was forced to make a choice between his family, his career and his faith, which is why he decided to give up playing football.
The interview was conducted before a Muslim prayer vigil in Wakefield’s honour.
“I’m in the same position I was in when I married my wife,” he said.
“My father and I have to be together for the whole of our lives, but when I marry, there’s no one to support me.”
“My family and my job were all over the place at the same time.
When I went out to the mosque to pray, it was very difficult.”
The player explained that he used to pray every morning at 7am, with the congregation going to sleep around 5pm.
“The first time I saw a Muslim I was completely shocked,” he told the programme.
“It wasn’t a bad thing in my opinion.
It’s not like there’s a god or something, so it was alright.”
The interview also revealed that Wakefield had been told that he would have to wait two years for his marriage to end, before he could get married again.
“But that’s not really fair.
We had a lot of problems with my family, but I still loved them, I still love my wife and our kids,” he added.”
When I get married, we’ll all be together again.”