COTONOU (Benin) - The fortunes of basketball clubs and players in Benin is about to change for good following a recent government ruling.
The new change is to take effect from the 2020-2021 league season, according to the directive of the government of Benin, headed by President Patrice Talon, who recently passed a law that requires all clubs to henceforth operate as companies.
For many stakeholders, the directive is a welcome development that is sure to see a marked improvement in all areas of the league and attracting the right sponsors.
National team and ELAN Sportif forward, Romaric Quenum says it is a good development for Benin basketball but notes that a lot is required in terms of sponsorship.
"Last season, ELAN was leading in the league before the coronavirus brought things to a halt. For the new season which we're looking forward to, a lot will depend on sponsorship and the moment we get it right, players will have contracts that guarantee them better pay than what they used to earn. We look forward to its smooth take off in the new season."
ASPAC captain Hounnou Brice Bleck cannot contain his joy as this government directive is already giving him several options.
Bleck said: "I thank the government of President Talon for this initiative. I find his vision good and approve it 1000%. This initiative will make sport professional here, and players will be able to live fully from their talent and their efforts.
"This will allow our national teams to have quality professional players. It will also allow foreigners to come and play in Benin and allow local players to improve their levels of play. This initiative is great for Beninese basketball."
Assistant national team Coach Basil Azan is also at the head of the technical crew of Energy Basketball Club looks at the decision of the government as one that will revolutionise sports generally in Benin.
Azan says the new government directive is huge for them but notes that even private companies will be willing to join in the pursuit of the set goals. He explained: "To do this, he will deduct from the taxes of all the companies that will have sports associations, all sports combined, the money they will spend each year for their teams in which, the players and the technical staff will be paid as professional players."
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