FORMER South African national coach, Romanian-born Ted Dumitru, 76, died on Thursday in Johannesburg and will be sorely missed in South African soccer circles.
He was South Africa’s national team coach for two years after leading several other African teams including Zambia, Swaziland and Namibia.
On the Premier Soccer League (PSL) front, he was the head coach at Kaizer Chiefs (two spells), Mamelodi Sundowns (2 spells), Orlando Pirates and Manning Rangers.
Prior to making his mark on the African continent, Dumitru coached teams around the world.
Over the last decade the knowledgeable Dumitru, y nicknamed ‘The Professor’, served in several coaching and advisory positions at SAFA (South African Football Association) level with Safa President Dr Danny Jordaan was one of the first to react on social media: “A giant of South African football has passed on. RIP Ted Dumitru”.
Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Sport and Recreation, wrote on his Twitter account: “I extend my condolences to all football loving people, family and friends of Ted Dumitru. RIP. You served us well.”
Neil Tovey, Safa’s Technical Director, said: “Ted was seen as a football man through and through. His passion was about the game, often critical as that is what you need when you want to move the game on.”
Dumitru died after suffering a heart attack at Johannesburg’s Eastgate Shopping Mall. When paramedics arrived they could not revive him.
Meanwhile SuperSport United head coach Stuart Baxter who admitted into hospital on (today) Thursday, is expected to be discharged soon in time for Saturday’s Nedbank Cup finalm where the Pretoria club are playing Orlando Pirates at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
Baxter suffered an allergic reaction on Thursday morning but club spokesman Koketso Gaofetoge there is no cause for concern, with the Englishman likely to be back home soon. – ANA edited by Patience Rusere