After many postponements, the first game of the Benin soccer championship season 2023–2024 took place on October 21, 2023, with Dynamo d’Abomey defeating Loto Popo 2-1.
The competition has been frequently postponed, just as it has in the previous three seasons. The championship was moved forward to October 21 from its original September 30, 2023 start date. Only eleven of the thirty-six clubs competing in the tournament had received a notice or release of club license at that point. The Benin Football Federation (FBF) then confirmed in a press statement dated October 18 that the tournament would begin on October 21. However, all first-day matches, save for the opening encounter, were rescheduled until a later date.
After that, the FBF gave latecomers an extension until the conclusion of the championship’s zone phase so they could catch up. “At the end of the derogation period, clubs who have not obtained their letter of license will be purely and simply withdrawn from the professional championship and relegated to the lower division, regardless of their technical results.” Eight matches were played on the second day of the competition, which proceeded as usual.
Loto-Popo and Coton FC compete for first place.
The two teams who finished second in 2023 and first in the current season, Loto-Popo and the champion, want to win both of those spots so they may qualify for the CAF’s interclub tournaments. The two-time reigning champions of Benin, Coton FC, defeated promoted Etoile Filante 0–4 to open their season on a high note.
The team’s goal, according to coach Victor Zvunka, is to win three straight. We’re going to proceed slowly. We’ll persuade ourselves that in order to advance to the next round, we must place among the top four. However, your goal as a champion is to place first in your group. Thus, we will exert all effort possible. We’re going to participate in and prevail in every game. However, our goal remains the same as it has been for the last two years: the championship, which we want to attempt to retain for a third.”
current runners-up Mathias Déguenon, the coach of Loto-Popo who had previously won the title in 2021, has left the team. Saturnin Ibela, a Gabonese, took over the club with high standards in mind.”Should Loto-Popo qualify for the upcoming African competition, his goal is to elevate the team to a higher level.” The Gabonese coach has to turn Loto-Popo into a strong, competitive squad. The club said that all of this is intended to help them break into the top 10 clubs in Africa.
To advance to the Super Ligue Pro, the second round of the competition, the 34 other teams—outsiders or promoted—will compete against the top clubs in the standings. Benin will participate in the end-of-season events represented by the top two teams from this last stage.