The Benin Republic senior men’s national team known as the squirrels will now be called the cheetahs.
This was announced on the team’s Twitter account.
“We are going to change our nickname soon in order to follow this dynamic. Even if we remain convinced that we should not change our nickname but above all concentrate on our football which will remain the same, all our ills will not be erased in the snap of a finger.
Benin Football Federation President Mathurin de Chacus, who was re-elected for a further four-year term at Saturday’s General Assembly, also confirmed the nickname change.
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“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 forward, our footballers will be called Cheetahs.
“A new era is dawning for Benin, currently 91st in the FIFA world rankings. In the midst of elephants, lions and other eagles, the squirrel was often mocked by opponents, and deemed too fragile and modest by Beninese supporters.
“By swapping the small climbing rodent for the fastest wild animal of the savannah, present on the national coat of arms, their country is pulling out its claws. It is now up to the team to match words with deeds on the pitch.“
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