Kaizer Motaung: 'Cyril Kobus ‘played key role in development of football’

30 June 2021 - 16:25 By Marc Strydom
Cyril Kobus was the general manager of the National Soccer League (NSL), which broke away from the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) in 1985.
Cyril Kobus was the general manager of the National Soccer League (NSL), which broke away from the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) in 1985.
Image: Premier Soccer League

Kaizer Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung has said that Cyril Kobus‚ who died this week‚ “played a key role in the development of football in our country”.

Kobus died aged 79.

He was one of the founding administrators of the National Soccer League (NSL) when it broke away from the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) in 1985.

NSL general manager Kobus and fast-talking‚ flamboyant PRO Abdul Bhamjee set new standards in the levels of organisation‚ ambition and marketing in the new league.

Bhamjee died in January.

Motaung said Kobus “was instrumental in his role during the formation of the National Soccer League in 1985”.

“I got to know Mr Kobus during our days as youngsters – I played for Orlando Pirates and he was with City Blacks‚” Motaung said in a statement.

“We also went to the same school‚ Orlando West High in Soweto. Mr Kobus was an intelligent man who always enjoyed the use of big words in discussions.

“No doubt Mr Kobus played a key role in the development of football in our country. His name is cast in stone in the history books of our football.

“I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and friends. I trust they will find solace by reading from Psalms 46:1 which says: ‘God is our refuge and strength‚ a very present help in trouble’.”

Motaung and Orlando Pirates owner Irvin Khoza used the NSL as a springboard to setting up the even more professional Premier Soccer League (PSL) in 1996.

Khoza‚ chairman of the PSL‚ said in a statement: “We learnt of the passing of one of the brain trusts in the formation of the National Soccer League in 1985‚ Mr Cyril Kobus.

“It happened six months after the demise of Mr Abdul Bhamjee. As the PSL‚ we extend our condolences to the son‚ Mr Mxolisi Kobus and the rest of the immediate and extended Kobus family.

“The football fraternity is poorer with the loss of such mammoth institutional memory. Quoting the East African saying ‘when the elder dies‚ the library burns down’. May his soul repose peacefully.”

The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) tweeted on its official MyPACOnline Twitter account that: “Kobus made his contribution to the struggle via several acts of support‚ including helping with the exhumation and reburial of the body of student leader Tsietsi Mashinini. This noble act he undertook along with the former NSL Manager Abdul Bhamjee.”

Safa president Danny Jordaan said Kobus was a servant of football.

“We have lost yet another trusted servant of the game and without Cyril Kobus we are all poorer‚” Jordaan said.

“To the late Kobus’ immediate family and friends‚ I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences and that of the football family. May his soul rest in peace.”


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