BDF XI seems to have, once again, targeted community teams when it comes to the recruitment of players. The army side’s latest acquisition is Notwane’s danger man, Jonas Kwape. Kwape has since joined BDF as a trainee cadet, something that automatically qualifies him to play for BDF XI once his 12 month training is over. Information reaching The Sunday Standard is that Kwape’s move to BDF is just a tip of an iceberg. BDF XI is reported to have launched a massive recruitment of players that would enable them to win major titles in years to come. The players targeted would be the ones that meet either cadet or private requirements. Victims are once again going to be community teams that have been complaining for ages that institutional teams like BDF XI, Police XI are paralyzing them by recruiting their cr├¿me-dela-creme using government coffers.
Some of the players that are known to The Sunday Standard are reported to be the main targets of BDF XI. Some of them play for the national Under 23. BDF XI’s pending recruitment exercise is also reportedly driven by some big forces inside the army because the team has gone for some years now without a major trophy in their cabinet.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of BDF XI, Brigadier Letsogile Motsumi confirmed that Kwape had joined BDF. He said the fact that Kwape joined BDF does not mean he is joining BDF XI. He said the onus is on Kwape and if he does not want he can do other army duties.
“People must learn to differentiate between BDF as an institution and BDF XI. Kwape joined BDF simply because he met all the minimum requirements and that also does not mean he is going to play for BDF XI. Kwape is like any other person who aspires to serve the army,” Motsumi said.
Motsumi would not want to comment on allegations that Kwape’s move to join BDF is just a beginning of the recruitment drive with more yet to follow. He said everybody who wants to join the army is free to do so provided they meet the necessary requirements.
One official from a community team, who preferred anonymity, decried BDF’s latest move. The official said as long as BDF XI guarantees players jobs, the standard of football will go down.
“Some players who could make it abroad are going to end up joining the likes of BDF XI and Police XI. Once they get in, it will be difficult for them to move out of the country. Currently, Botswana is in a situation whereby players are marketable outside. There are many good players who joined institutional teams only to be redundant later on. Others see no value in playing since the army would be paying them a salary anyway,” the official said, adding that the playing field has never been level between the institutional teams and the community ones and it will never be unless football is professionalised. On the other hand, the official also decried the lack of unity among the community and institutional teams. Some of the players institutional teams took from community teams include the likes of Phenias Maimela, Andrew Stopper Modirelabangwe, Cocorico Mnese, Nelson Viola Gabolwelwe, Ditaola Ditaola, and Dintle Valdo Mogomotsi. Bricks Gabaitsane and Keikothaye Botlhoko.