Benin no longer nuts about squirrels

Footballing authorities in Benin have decided to drop the nationl team's long-time nickname of The Squirrels in the belief it is uncomplimentary, the country's sports ministry have announced.

"We were asked about it last year in parliament by lawmakers and they reproached us for making national teams bear the name of an animal which runs off when it is afraid," sports minister Galiou Soglo said.

"We are going to suggest to the government the name 'Emerging Panthers'. This proposal will be communicated to the cabinet," Soglo said.

The issue of dropping the Squirrels designation, first adopted in 1965 - a former national leader maintained it referred to a small animal which can climb high - has been the subject of regular debate over the past three years.