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Igesund refuses to stoop to Dumitru's level 01/04/04
With Saturday's huge Absa Cup battle between Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town looming large on the horizon, Amakhosi coach Ted Dumitru has been up to his usual tricks by attempting to destabilise the Ajax camp with his comments in the media.

The Romanian-born coach and self-proclaimed 'Professor' has been dishing out excuses and insults to both the Ajax camp and South African soccer in general in recent weeks.

It has become a regular occurence of late to see negative remarks in the press from Dumitru, whether it be slamming soccer administrators, coaches or even fans in this country.

In his latest column on the Chiefs website, Dumitru reffered to 'our quite ignorant soccer society', while last week he was complaining at the number of match balls that were used in his team's draw against Silver Stars.

He went on to blame Safa for his team's failure to earn maximum points in this game, refusing to accept that the Chiefs strikers were simply unable to find the back of the net on the day.

Dumitru, who once 'disappeared' from his post as Sundowns manager without giving reason, had some harsh words for newly appointed Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter, saying that the Englishman 'doesn't understand local soccer'.

He also had complaints with the backlog of fixtures Chiefs faced after the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia, but conveniantly seemed to forget that Ajax were placed in the same prediciment.

His most recent comments came on Wednesday when he claimed that Urban Warriors coach Gordon Igesund was lacking tactical awareness and the Cape team were playing one-dimensional football.

Igesund was reluctant to be drawn into a war of words with the Chiefs manager, but he did feel the need to point out that Dumitru's behaviour towards rival clubs and managers in this country is not within the spirit of the game.

"I have nothing personal against Mr. Dumitru and I don't think it is a bad thing for coach's to play mind games amongst each other through the media," said Igesund.

"However, I feel it is wrong for a coach makes a personal attack on another coach - this is unprofessional and un-ethical behaviour. I feel that he has no right to slam me or my tactics the way he did.

"We at Ajax show respect to all our opponents, unlike Chiefs."

"Dumitru is always looking to make excuses for his team loosing before they even play the game. He sets himself up to be knocked like this.

"He must be prepared to stand up and be counted when his team suffers a defeat.

"I have never heard him say anything positive about South African soccer and he also likes to use the success of other coaches to elevate himself," said Igesund.

Dumitru seems to be using his position as manager of the most popular club in the country to proclaim himself as the all-knowing authority on South African soccer, which has not gone down too well with the three-time Castle Premiership title winning coach.

"Where would South African soccer be without Ted Dumitru? We are all inferior to him. What would we do without the 'Professor's' advice with regards to tactics and coaching methods? Only he is capable of taking the game to a higher level in this country," said Igesund sarcastically.

The Ajax mentor said that he would rather focus on the game ahead than spend unnecessary energy making negative remarks in the press.

"My players are really looking forward to this game and aim to repeat their performance when they knocked Chiefs out of last season's Absa Cup.

"They are aware that a victory would not only see us through to the next round of the cup, but it would also be a huge psychological blow for us in the race against Chiefs for league honours.

"To beat Amakhosi in their backyard would be a major boost for our league title hopes and it would also put tremendous pressure on them going into the last few games of the season."





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Wednesday's readers letters...

Pienaar highlights Safa's self-deception

Ajax not concerned over Kanku threats

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