THE MZANSI soccer fraternity is in shock after the sudden death of former Bafana Bafana coach Theodore “Ted” Dumitru.
Dumitru (76) died after collapsing at Eastgate Shopping Centre. He was treated by paramedics on the scene.
He had also coached clubs like Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.
Nicknamed the “Professor”, Dumitru won two league titles with both Chiefs and Downs and lifted the 2000 MTN8 trophy with Pirates.
One of the most respected coaches in the country, the Romanian-born coach came to Mzansi in 1985 to coach Chiefs. He was one of the few coaches to have managed South Africa’s “Big Three.” He also took up the reins as Bafana coach at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations finals held in Egypt.
Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung said he was saddened by the news.
“This is a sad day for our soccer. I’m terribly saddened. It’s unbelievable as only yesterday I was reading about him conducting a coaching seminar, and now he is gone. His loss will be felt in our soccer. He did a lot for Chiefs, winning many leagues and cup titles. He also did well with other clubs such as Sundowns. South Africa has lost a truly great man and coach.”
Safa president Danny Jordaan said: “Despite his small frame, Ted was a giant of South African football and his incisive assessment of football matters earned him respect among football fans.”