• His new post might require him to build a cordial relationship with
  • BFA president MacLean Letshwiti, who he recently criticized
  • Zakhem welcomes Letshwiti reunion for the good of local football


Gaborone United director Nicholas Zakhem has been elected as the new Botswana Football League (BFL) chairman following a Special Meeting of Shareholders. Zakhem will be Aryl Ralebala’s permanent successor after the Masitaoka FC chairman resigned last week.
Zakhem, a long serving administrator and financier, has ascended to the highest position in local club football for the first time. The GU director will lead a new BFL board which will be tasked with transforming the local league into a reputable business entity while also guiding clubs to transform into professionalized companies.
Zakhem will be joined by Njabulo Gilika, Jagdish Shah and Kagiso Mogocha who have been appointed board directors. The BFL has revealed plans to include two independent directors who will be voted into the board in due course.
The new BFL chairman is optimistic of helping build the local football league into a well respected brand.
“Football is a team effort on the pitch and in the boardroom,it’s very vital that board members have harmony ,transparency and the willingness to sacrifice their time for the good of the game ,at the same time we have to be able to accept other shareholders advise for advancing our agenda to bring football back to the mass to enjoy,” Zakhem told Gazette Sport.
“All our teams have the potential to improve their clubs performance,finances and discipline, such can be achieved 1- by privatization 2- financial independence 3- create a sustainable structure in terms of youth development for various ages ,though such is very costly exercise, however it’s rewarding in terms of having in house players and the opportunity to export our players as we have the raw talent and we need to develop such. Having stated that we will be engaging a professional to tour every team under our league and assist them to set the necessary foundation for future growth. Our game has had always challenges and we are committed to bring back the prosperity and the challenge back to the game .The top priority is to put our differences aside and work hand in hand for better result, to vaccinate all our players and technical staff and to improve our finances,” he added.
Assuming the BFL chairman’s position might require Zakhem to build a cordial relationship with the Botswana Football Association president MacLean Letshwiti. Although the BFL gained autonomy last year, they are still affiliated to the BFA and the two will be expected to hold consultative talks about the progress of local football. Zakhem recently criticized Letshwiti, the two are believed to have a strained relationship but Zakhem has not ruled out working with Letshwiti for the good of local football.
“In any organization differences of opinion and approaches will always exist, nevertheless BFL is under the umbrella of BFA though we have our autonomy ,and the communication level with the president will be always there. Moreover BFL chairman is part of NEC which headed by the president. So It’s a must that we deal with our differences for the better of the game,” Zakhem concluded.