OBITUARY | ‘Professional soccer was built on people like Abdul ...

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OBITUARY | ‘Professional soccer was built on people like Abdul Bhamjee’

The ‘flamboyant’ PRO, who was behind the building of SA’s first football stadium, drove unity in soccer: Jordaan

Journalist

Abdul Bhamjee, who died aged 83 in Johannesburg on Monday night, was a “flamboyant character” who helped lead a breakaway group in the 1980s to form a single national soccer league.

He was also the driving force behind the construction of FNB Stadium in Soweto, the first football venue in the country, which was later upgraded to become Soccer City for the 2010 Fifa World Cup in SA.

In the early 1990s he lost favour in the soccer fraternity when he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment for the disappearance of R6‚5m from National Soccer League coffers. Bhamjee, however, always maintained his innocence, saying the amount was a commission from the NSL, the details of which he never received in writing. He spent five years behind bars for the offence. ..

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