The Benin Football Federation, (Fédération Béninoise de Football, FEBEFOOT, FBF) has changed the country’s National team name from ‘LES SQUIRRELS’ to ‘CHEETAHS‘ according to the federation’s president, Mathurin de Chacus.
Mathurin de Chachus who was re-elected as the president of the Beninese Football Federation that was held on Saturday, August 20, 2022 said the federation believed as little as the SQUIRREL is, it had an impact on the national team.
“We have already sent a letter to our supervisory authority to ask for authorization to change the name of the national team, confirmed Mathurin de Chacus to our colleague Jocelyne Senanhoun, present at the elective GA.
“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,” the 63-year-old president said.
The name ‘Squirrels’ was coined in the 60’s for Benin National team. They have only managed to appear four times (2004, 2008, 2010 and 2019) at the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON.
Benin managed its best performance in the tournament, during the 2019 AFCON in Egypt when they went as far as the quarter-finals, including a shock win over Morocco after penalty shootout.
This means Benin is the first team to reach the quarter-finals of AFCON without ever winning a single competitive match in their participation history.