Muhsin clears the air after story that started all the trouble

Ajax Cape Town head coach Muhsin Ertugral reacts in frustration during the Absa Premiership match against Mamelodi Sundowns at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 9 January 2018.
Ajax Cape Town head coach Muhsin Ertugral reacts in frustration during the Absa Premiership match against Mamelodi Sundowns at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 9 January 2018.
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Muhsin Ertugral says his comments on the development of young South African players for the European market this week were not a criticism of the local game‚ but rather a call for coaches in the country to do more to help juniors achieve their dreams of playing in the top leagues in the world.

The Ajax Cape Town coach said that his analysis was a constructive comment on the reality of the situation‚ and should not have been perceived as a criticism of South African football.

“It is very clear what I am saying. I am not attacking any side in South Africa‚ or Safa or the PSL‚” Ertugral told SowetanLIVE.

“What I was saying is that if our juniors were given the same opportunities in terms of coaching and education as young players in Europe‚ then we would see many more of our players over there.

“I am on the board of directors of the Turkish Football Federation and on the Fifa Technical Committee‚ and I see the work that is being done at that level around the world.

“So what I am saying is that us as coaches in the country need to do more to help get young players to that level.

"In international football today‚ some of the best coaches are at youth level and the youngsters get 10 to 12 years of solid football education. That is where we need to get to.

“People say I must also do that at my club. Well‚ of course I do. In my mind‚ it is up to all PSL coaches to help to the best of their abilities to educate these players better. That is our challenge.

“I am not blaming anybody‚ or criticising South African football‚ but rather offering an opinion on what I believe can be done better.”

Ertugral said he was distressed that his comments had been taken in such a negative light.

“Who am I to criticise – I am just an employee here?

“But I have an opinion‚ because as part of the Fifa Technical Committee‚ I go to the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups‚ and others‚ and from those we put out booklets for the federations on what is happening in the latest trends in world football.

“It is my view‚ my perspective‚ my opinion. I am very proud of the work that I have done in South Africa to develop players for this country and for Bafana Bafana.”

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