By Angu Lesley
From Squirrels, the Benin national team is now nicknamed «The Cheetah». The announcement was made by the president of the Benin football federation ,Mathurin de Chacus, on August 20, on the sidelines of his re-election .
“We have already sent a letter to our supervisory authority asking for permission to change the name of the national team. From this day on, there will be no more Squirrels in Benin as far as football is concerned. From this day on, our footballers will be called Cheetahs.” Marthurin explained.
The name change had been on course for several years now . In 2018, the FBF had expressed their desire to adopt a new name that will suit the nations footballing ambitions.
“The name given to the national team must resonate with the population and reflect our strong ambitions in the sporting world.In order clarify this and propose a new name for the national team the Executive Committee of the FBF has set up a committee on the change of name for the national team of Benin.” The FBF had indicated in 2018.
This came after similar move launched in 2008 were abortive . Names like “Ratel”, «python » were rumored to be the new nickname but all these were scratched out on Saturday , when the FA president declared the nations team should now be addressed as the cheetahs
“From this day on, there will be no more Squirrels in Benin as far as football is concerned. From this day on, our footballers will be called Cheetahs,” he emphasized
Adopting the nickname «the Cheetah » May just influence this west African nation to make a come back in Africas most prestigious tournament , the Africa cup of nations .
Benin has participated in 4 AFCON, in 2004, 2008, 2010, and 2019 where they reached the quarterfinals .
For the 2023 Africa cup of nations qualifiers, the team occupies the last position in group L, where she is paired alongside , Senegal, Rwanda and Mozambique.
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