Among the many heartaches and disappointments that may have weighed down former President Lt Gen Ian Khama during his ten year sojourn at the State House was the BDF IX football club loss of form.
Between 1981 and 2004, BDF XI won seven league titles, and went on to lose all the league title during Khama’s presidency. The former president who is also BDF IX patron poured out his heart over the weekend saying, “I must note that it is disappointing that the last time the club won a premier league title was 2004. The last major cup that the club own was the Mascom top 8 in 2014. This then calls for a concerted effort by all of us to redeem the glory days of BDF XI.” Khama was speaking at the BDF XI 40th anniversary organized by former players at SSKB barracks over the weekend.
Khama noted that former and current officials and players are important stakeholders and need to take an active role in the club’s activities to ensure self reliance.
“Let me urge all veteran players and officials to find something that they can do for the team. To start, one may begin by being active in the club’s activities, for it is only when you are engaged in the club’s activities that you can appreciate the team’s needs and areas in which you can add value. Little it may be, but when all our efforts and contributions are put together, it becomes a lot,” observed Khama.
Khama, who is also the patron of BDF XI, further observed that in the past Matebele as BDF XI is affectionately called by its legion of fans used to be a force to reckon with in Botswana football but currently they are not doing well.
He encouraged and implored all veteran and officials to work together to resuscitate the team’s yester year impressive performance. From 1981 to 2004, BDF XI won seven league titles.
“On average, that is one league title every 3to 4 years. It has now been 14 years since winning the last league title. This trend should worry all who are associated with the club and cause all to take action in resuscitating the performance of Matebele,” said Khama.
The former President encouraged BDF family to make it a habit to come together regularly as former and current officials and players of BDF XI to share ideas on how to take club forward. He explained that football is changing and as such there is need to keep up with changing demands of the game.
BDF XI was formed by the late former BDF XI commander, Mompati Merafhe in 1978 when he coincidentally found a group of soldiers playing football and then informed them that from there onwards they were BDF XI football team. It is alleged he said “what are you guys doing there, from now onwards you are called BDF XI football club.”
Other founding members include, Colonel Katse, Stanley Tshosane and Sikalame Six Keatlholetswe.
One of the founding members, Sikalame Six Keatlholetswe said they found it fit to organise the 40th anniversary to come together and catch up, appreciate the role the veterans, players and officials on the team. “The aim was to bring all former players, officials and current team together to celebrate the past experiences with the team. We intend to continue assisting the team where possible we can,” said Keatlholetswe.