News of the passing of Sam Keitireng last week marked another sad day for football.
The assistant commissioner notably served as the chairperson of the First Division South committee and was assistant chairperson at Police XI.
The sun sadly set on the football servant’s life on June 17 and he was laid to rest at his home village of Tsetsebye on Father’s Day. Death spoilt Father’s Day for both Keitireng and football’s family.
My interaction with Keitireng was a few years ago when I used to cover First Division South league matches. I developed a bond with Sam, as he was fondly known, outside work and recently I realised that we shared the same birthday (June 6).
When I learnt about his passing, I was in disbelief even today it has not sunk in that Sam is gone. I feel like I disappointed him, as I never heard about his illness. We were actually supposed to meet for a drink, but I kept postponing. Keitireng was First Division vice chairperson from 2009 until 2015. He then took over the reigns between 2015 and 2018.
During that period, Keitereng had to deal with countless protests, and he was known to be someone who stuck to the play rules and regulations. His former colleague, Eatametse Olopeng said football has lost a true friend and a dedicated person.
“I have worked with him in football even though I was in the North and him in the South, but we used to meet and share ideas about recognition of the First Division.
Today he left this world when First Division was now starting to be recognised. Before it was only the Botswana Premier League (BPL),” he said.
“We used to advocate that both BPL and First Division should be recognised as national leagues. I appeal to football leaders to have a special recognition for people of the calibre of Sam meaningfully contributed to football,” he said. Olopeng said Keitireng was one of the few people who did not want to criticise leadership.
“I remember when he was representing First Division in the National Executive Committee (NEC) and Ashford Mamelodi was invited to orientate us. After the two days workshop a decision was taken to suspend Bennett Mamelodi,” Olopeng said. “Sam remained silent all the way from Mmokolodi until when the matter was discussed at the BFA boardroom. Sam commented by saying, how can we have a good presentation by Ashford and then the following day you spoil his day by suspending his brother.”
First Division South chairperson, Sydney Magagane said Keitireng’s passing was a huge loss.
“He was like a father to me and my mentor. I found him in the First Division committee. We worked together for the 11 years that I was in the First Division under him and he guided me from being the secretary until I took over from him. He was a jovial person,” he said.
Magagane said he spoke to Keitireng three days before he passed on and he was looking forward to much involvement in football.