Benin Republic will no longer participate in the WAFU Women’s Cup, which kicks off today, 14 February in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The Beninese Football Federation (FBF) officially withdrew the team from WAFU just hours to the tournament citing the team was not ready.
“The women’s national team is not yet competitive,” said FBF President Anjorin Moucharafou.
“I understand their bitterness, that’s right. But you know, when you run a state business, you do not put sentiment.
“I want to impose the Benin label in football and so I have talked to the girls and told them that an appointment is made for next time.”
This did not go down well with the players who have been in camp since December preparing for the regional showpiece.
“It is really discouraging to once again be pulled out of a competition,” said Benin international Colombe Ahizikè.
“Three training sessions a day and at the last minute, we are told that we are not going to travel? We must discourage that.”
Vice-captain Nadège Atanhloueto echoed Ahizikè’s sentiments, adding: “In 2006, it was the same story, 2007 the same, 2012 and 2015 the same, and 2018 again?”
The Squirrels have been in camp for one month and a half, playing a number of friendlies against local sides.
They hammered Ifè Queens 10–1 on Saturday 20 January before collecting a 3–0 win over Houng Potentiel FC last Wednesday, 7 February.
FBF has not entered the Squirrels in the qualifiers for the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations set to commence in April.
Therefore, the WAFU Cup withdrawal means the Squirrels, who have not played a match in over a decade, might need to wait much longer to return to the international stage.
Benin are set to be replaced by Mali in Group B, which has favourites Nigeria, dark horse Senegal and Togo.
Group A comprises hosts Ivory Coast, the other favourites Ghana, Burkina Faso and Niger.
culled from jwsports1.com…
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