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SA mourns loss of ex Bafana coach Dumitru
- Updated: May 27, 2016
The South African sports family is mourning the passing of former Bafana Bafana football coach Ted Dumitru at the age of 76.
The Romania-born Dumitru passed away on Thursday after collapsing at a shopping mall in Johannesburg.
SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan said Ted Dumitru was a ‘true giant’ of South African football. ‘This is a very, very sad day in the history of our game. Despite his small frame, Ted was a giant of South African football and his incisive assessment to football matters earned him respect among football fans.
‘He was articulate about the game, called a spade a spade and worked within every sector of the game from development, club to national team level including technical areas with the Association. At the time of his untimely death, he was an active member of the SAFA Technical Committee. May his soul rest in peace,’ said Dr Jordaan.
Dumitru had a close working relationship with former Mamelodi Sundowns owner Anastasia Tsichlas when he coached the Pretoria side in the late 90s. The two joined forces again when Ted was called to serve on the SAFA Technical Committee where Tsichlas is the current chairperson.
Tsichlas says she was gutted by Ted’s untimely passing on describing the death as a great loss to South African football. ‘This is a massive loss to the entire nation. He was very passionate about the game and never one to hold back his opinions. Ted left a legacy behind – the South African philosophy document. He won a lot of trophies in a glittering career as a coach,’ said Ms. Tsichlas.
‘Ted took Sundowns to the final of the CAF Champions League, he served in the SAFA Technical Committee and I was looking forward to meeting up with him next week for our regular committee meetings, unfortunately it won’t happen.
‘He had so many wise things to say about the game. Ted was indeed the professor of football – a title he earned for his immense knowledge of the game of football. May God grant him eternal rest, and I know I am not speaking for myself only when I say we are all going to miss him and his ideas. May his family and football family be comforted during these difficult times.’
Dumitru started his coaching career back in his native Romania in 1964 with a club called Universitatea Craiova. Locally he has coached all the big guns of South African Football – Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.
In the process he won many trophies – the league title, MTN 8, Nedbank Cup, Telkom Charity Cup, Rothmans Cup and the Telkom Knockout.
He was also at the helm of several other national teams – among them Swaziland, Namibia and Zambia.