Nigeria’s Super Falcons look set to face Mali in their opening fixture at the inaugural edition of the WAFU Women’s Cup following Benin’s withdrawal from the competition.
Benin were scheduled to face the Super Falcons in their opening Group B fixture at the Robert Champroux Stadium, Cote d’Ivoire on Thursday.
The competition kicks off on Wednesday (today) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The Benin Football Federation (FBF) according to a report in jwsports1.com have officially withdrawn the team just hours to the start competition, stating that the team is not ready to take part in the tourney.
The players have expressed shock on the decision of the federation having put a lot of hardwork in training.
“It is really discouraging that we are not going to participate in the competition,” forward Colombe Ahizike told jwsports1.com.
“Three training sessions a day and at the last minute, we are told that we are not going to travel.”
Vice-captain Nadège Atanhloueto echoed Ahizikè’s sentiments.
“In 2006, it was the same story, 2007 the same, 2012 and 2015 the same, and 2018 again.”
President of the Benin Football Federation, Anjorin Moucharafou, however defended the decision of the body.
“The women’s national team is not yet competitive,” he stated.
“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.”