Veteran coach Ted Dumitru believes "European influences" are impacting negatively on South African soccer
Posted: 25 March 2013 Time: 10:35
Veteran coach Ted Dumitru believes "European influences" are impacting negatively on local football.
KickOff.com engaged the former coach of Bafana Bafana, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns to elaborate on comments he made over the weekend that football on the local front is putting fans to sleep.
The 73-year-old, of Romanian origin, is adamant that local football is far from entertaining.
Dumitru explains: "I think you have to link this with the lack of technical leadership for some years. If you don't have technical leaders in the country, you are subject to influences that might be harmful to your game."
In simple terms, Dumitru bemoans the direct football local teams play while he argues the country has a lot of "skilful" players.
"When it comes to styles of football, you cannot globalise it; the examples are Spain, Germany, Brazil, and etc. If you go to these countries and tell them they have to globalise their game, they will laugh at you and show you the door," Dumitru says.
"There are countries that didn't have strong technical leadership and they made a wrong turn, such as South Africa. Instead of looking at traditions that are very valuable for instance creativity, decisive dribbling and quick combinations of short passing, South Africa threw away all this. Then South Africa, because of influences, adopted direct and predictable football.
"We have paid the price and it is a huge, huge price. We paid dearly and all of us are suffering," he laments.
Dumitru insists that local teams "don't play football; instead we just kick the ball".
Teenage Dladla (right)
"The highest paid players in the world are the best dribblers. Quite ironic. Africans, specifically South Africans, are naturally gifted to beat two, three defenders but if you dribble now, especially at youth level, you are in big trouble. You will be taken out and put on the bench.
"Dribbling, by the way, is how this game was invented not the passing. I'm telling you in today's game Teenage Dladla could have been one of the top international players.
"The longer we delay to accept that we got it wrong, the more damage is going to be done ... we only have 11 qualified youth coaches in the country and that's the most ridiculous thing you ever heard in any football nation. When you want to develop football, you first develop youth coaches. It is absolutely crazy," Dumitru says.
'The Professor', as Dumitru is affectionately known, reckons that the type of football currently played is one of the reasons for the empty stands.
"Have you seen our fans dancing? They don't even look at the game and they are only interested now at the final result. I remember in the '80s and '90s our supporters were glued on the game. There was no time to blow vuvuzelas or move around in the stadium, even speaking to spectators around you.
"Fans were fully, fully involved in the game. Very soon you are going to have empty stadiums if we don't change the way we do things," Dumitru adds.