COSAFA saddened by passing of Ismail Bhamjee

COSAFA is saddened to learn of the passing of it’s inaugural president Ismail Bhamjee on Friday, just under two months after the loss of his brother Abdul.

Ismael made an invaluable contribution to the development of football in the Southern African region and had various roles with FIFA, including on their World Cup organising committee.

He was a referee in the old South Africa Soccer League, but left for Botswana in the 1970s, later becoming General Secretary and President of the Botswana Football Association.

Aside from his role as COSAFA President, he was also on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA executive committees.

Bhamjee proved his all-round contribution to sport when he held the position of President of Botswana’s Olympic Committee. He was also a referee at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

COSAFA Secretary General Sue Destombes, who worked alongside Bhamjee from 1997 when the COSAFA Cup was inaugurated, said: “It is with great sadness that we have learned from our Honorary Secretary General Ashford Mamelodi this morning of Ismail’s passing, after having spoken to him just 10 days ago.

“Ismail has remained a loyal friend of COSAFA over the years. Our sincere condolences to Mrs Bhamjee and the family.”