Abdul Bhamjee (second from left) was a master marketer of the beautiful game in SA

'Bhamjee had fantastic marketing skills'


Former Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Augusto Palacios has paid tribute to legendary South African football administrator Abdul Bhamjee.

Bhamjee, whose marketing prowess saw almost every National Soccer League match being played in front of a full house, passed away on Monday night at the age of 82 following a long illness.

"He had great marketing [skills] in football, good eyes to bring people to the stadium," Palacios tells KickOff.com.

"He brought the Super Cup Challenge which was played by four regions, Free State, Cape Town, Natal, Gauteng... I was coach of Gauteng or Johannesburg, we were the champion, and also the competition was great.

"He started the FNB Stadium with full crowd. I was working with him in setting the rules for the players in NSL. Like [Charity] Spectacular, great competition, double game and final. Rest in peace.

"I remember one of the rules that I recommended was that the players must play with their socks up. I remember when I arrived, everyone, majority played with socks down, no shin guards.

"And also the problem when Witbank Black Aces did not have money to travel to Cape Town, he made the arrangements. He was a good PRO and marketing, fantastic.

"And also he had his sports shop in Boksburg close to the Oriental Plaza Indian community. He also had his son Mohammed Bhamjee, he played professional football, he was a striker. Now he has his own team developing youngsters, Jozi Stars."

The PSL also issued a statement regarding the passing of the former football administrator.

'The Premier Soccer League is mourning the passing of former Public Relations Officer of the National Soccer League, Mr. Abdulhuck Marhoon Bhamjee,' read the statement.

'The PSL Executive Committee and member clubs are saddened by the loss of Mr Bhamjee. We recognise his role in the formation of the National Soccer League and the building of the brand NSL.

'Our condolences go out to the children (Mohamed, Fazel, Yusuf and Nadira) and the entire Bhamjee family.

'We supplicate that God gives them fortitude at this moment of their extreme grief and pain.

'The PSL will observe a moment of silence ahead of this week’s DStv Premiership and GladAfrica Championship fixtures commencing today until the weekend.

'May his soul repose peacefully.'