Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs committed soccer suicide by firing Serbian coach Vladimir Vermezovic a mere 48 hours before their critical Nedbank Cup quarter-final against Free State Stars last Saturday.
This was the opinion on Wednesday of former Chiefs coach Ted Dumitru, who during his two spells with the Soweto giants helped guide the Amakhosi to two Premier Soccer League (PSL) titles.
Following Chiefs' 1-0 league loss against Maritzburg United in Polokwane on Tuesday night, Chiefs are effectively out of the running for the PSL championship.
"I am not passing judgement on Vermezovic, because I do not know enough about the man and his workings at Chiefs to say whether he should have been fired or not," Dumitru said.
"But the timing of his sacking was beyond all comprehension to me. If he was going to get fired, it should have been done earlier in the season or at the end of the season if necessary. Not at a time when Chiefs' vital pursuit of the league title was hanging in the balance."
Dumitru said Vermezovic's replacements - Ace Khuse, Doctor Khumalo and Arthur Zwane - were not experienced enough to be taking over the reins at Amakhosi.
Earlier this season, rumours were circulating that Vermezovic had lost touch with his senior players, who had reportedly been at odds with the Serb well before his sacking.
Dumitru went further by declaring that the coaching debacle at Kaizer Chiefs was the biggest blunder chairman Kaizer Motaung had made in his tenure at the club.
"I know Kaizer to be an astute and level-headed soccer administrator, not to mention his outstanding record as a player," Dumitru said.
"What he has achieved in building Chiefs from scratch into the soccer conglomerate it is today is an achievement of great enormity. But I simply don't know what got into him this time, unless there are some serious unexplained facts relating to Vermezovic about which the soccer community at large is unaware."