Adolf Kabo was a West Papuan footballer who played a role in the national team. He died at age 61 in 2021.
Adolf Kabo’s Background
Kabo was born on March 3rd, 1960, in Manokwari, West Papua. He was instrumental as a Manokwari’s football team member as a striker. He played in the team from 1983 to 1988.
As an athlete, he wasn’t just prominent in Manokwari’s team. He was also an important national team member, of the Garuda squad, during the Union Cup in Brunei Darussalam 1985. Later, he would also score a goal against Qatar in the opening games of the Asian Games in 1986.
1985 was a busy year for Kabo. He also had a hand in the National Sports Week of 1985 for West Papua, though then it was known as Irian Jaya.
Kabo was an extremely skilled athlete, capable of holding off defending the team on his own. While his skills allowed him to carry the team, it may also look selfish to others, as they might see him as hogging the ball to himself. However, Kabo was perfectly capable of being a team player.
During his run as a key player in Manokwari’s team, he worked well with Elly Rumaropean. He also received support from Yonas Sawor. The three managed to carry the team to finals in the Main Division Union of 1986, but eventually, the team lost to Bandung’s team with a 0-1 score.
Despite this, Kabo had his quirks and bad habits. Paul Cumming, the trainer for the team, noted that Kabo had a drinking habit. He would insist on drinking before games and ignore Cumming’s warnings not to.
Apparently, he had played while drunk at some point and repeatedly fell during the game. Cumming had kept him on the field despite this, and Kabo managed to score a goal in an inebriated state.
Not much is known about Kabo’s life after he stepped down as an athlete. However, his family knew him as a humble and caring man. His house was simple and sparsely decorated, though pictures of memorable moments were framed on the walls.
Kabo married his wife, Mariam Opur, and had five children. Later, two of his children, Santi and Jefri Kabo, would leave him with fifteen grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His family remembered him as a caring man who would wake up long before his children stirred from sleep to prepare breakfast for the family.
Life and Death
Adolf Kabo died on April 4th, 2021, at age 61 from a stroke. He had received treatments at the Navy Hospital in Manokwari since March but eventually succumbed to his condition.
After his retirement, Kabo led a quiet life with his family. He had led his football teams to victory but left life in relative silence. While he had never complained about it, his first daughter, Nuni Kabo, was disappointed by the lack of support from the government after Kabo left the sports league.
While he undoubtedly loved his family, Kabo left them with little riches. They noted that there wasn’t much attention to Kabo after he retired, and while some prominent figures offered help, nothing came out of it.
Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of Research, Study, and Development of Legal Aid, noted that this might be due to the law itself. There was no law regarding aid to athletes after retirement, and he hoped there would be some aid for other retired athletes soon.
Many athletes slipped through the cracks after retirement and could not enjoy comfortable life after they stopped working as athletes. Adolf Kabo wasn’t the only athlete to face this fate, and Warinussy hoped things would get better for others.