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Veteran goal machine to retire

Following a match next month between Electric and Ethiopia Coffee, Yordanos Abay, one of the foremost goal scorers in Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) history, is to officially retire.

After 10 years with the Yemeni league, Yordanos returned to EPL to play for Electric in the 2015/16 season. However, he only lasted there one year before joining National Cement.

At a press conference Thursday, the former national team player stated that screening of a documentary film chronicling his soccer career as well as a charity road race would mark his retirement. He also stated that he is working on a book.

He added that after his retirement, he plans to coach aspiring soccer players in his home-town of Dire Dawa.

Meanwhile, he complained that current Ethiopian soccer is too much dependent on foreign players.

“Our football is in very bad shape, and everyone has a responsibility to come up with a new approach,” he noted.

From his statement, Ethiopian soccer nowadays is unduly tainted by money, and the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) needs to focus on technical development.

He said that upon his return to Ethiopia, he was eager to play soccer for years to come. But, things were not as he had expected them to be.

“I don’t have anything to regret about in my past football career. When I returned to Ethiopia, it was my plan to continue playing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it in the current atmosphere of Ethiopian football,” he stated.               

Yordanos has played club football with Ethiopia Electric, Dire Dawa Cotton and Yemeni side Al-Saqr.

During his EPL career, he scored 24 goals in 26 appearances. He was EPL’s top goal scorer before Debebit forward Getaneh Kebede broke his record in the 2016/17 season.        

In international appearances, Yordanos played in the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championships, and made his senior debut that same year. He also appeared in FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

The 2001 FIFA World Youth Championships took place in Argentina between June 17 and July 8, 2001. Argentina won the title for the fourth time. The Ethiopian Youth National Team was grouped with Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Netherlands.  In the second-round match, Ethiopia played against Costa Rica and was beaten 3-1. Yordanos scored the lone goal in the 92nd minute. Finally, Ethiopia was eliminated at the group stage.