By Collins Okinyo -Â
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -Â Ethiopia’s long serving captain Degu Debebe has called it quits from International football just days after the head coach Sewnet Bishaw was sacked.
The soft spoken St. George defender has alluded to the fact that he felt unappreciated as fans and media personalities directed abuses and jibes at him both personally and on social media after the poor performance in the just ended Chan tournament hosted by South Africa.
A blunder by Degu Debebe against Libya gifted them a goal and he was then benched for the rest of the tourney by coach Bishaw.
” I have announced my International retirement after what I experienced after Chan in South Africa. I gave solid years of my career to Walia but one mistake against Libya led to so many abuses being directed to me personally and even on social media issues that also affected my family.”
“I have played with all my heart but after the recent events I felt it was time to step aside and concentrate on my club duties because I suddenly turned into a pariah for mistakes that any other footballer can commit,” Degu told supersport.com.
“I want to thank all the coaches who gave me an opportunity and the fans who stood by me during my time in the National team. In life it reaches a time where you have to move on and I personally think the time has come for me,” Degu added.
Degu Debebe was a key player for Walia Ibex helping them qualify for Afcon 2013,Chan 2014 and he was in the thick of things when for the first time Ethiopia qualified for the World Cup 2014 play offs where they were eliminated by Nigeria.
Meanwhile defender Aynalem Hailu has also called it quits from the National team after a barrage of attacks from fans who accused him of putting paid to their hopes after he gifted Libya with a penalty.