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azema cotonouTaking advantage of the end of a professional stay in France of Karel Dohnal, a great technical specialist of the world championships, the President made an express trip of 48 hours to Cotonou with him to take stock of the situation on the spot with the people in charge of the organisation at all levels. They began on Sunday morning with a meeting with Mr Ibrahima Idrissou, African Confederation President and promoter of the event, followed by a press conference that was widely reported in Beninese newspapers, radios and televisions - see the press kits below...

Two half-day working sessions with the Benin Federation's leaders were then held in the afternoon and the following morning to review all the sectors and the progress of the preparations.

Finally, after a visit to the new site, another press conference was held, jointly by President Azéma and the Minister of Sport, Mr Oswald Homeky, a strong supporter of the event, which also had a great impact as it marked, once again, the commitment of the State and the Government to the project. (See the press kit)

As soon as the report of the visit covering the various points of the project is ready in the next few days, it will be distributed directly to all the FIPJP member federations.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to underline from the outset the general elements that stand out:

- The Government of Benin and the whole State support the project and want to make it a remarkable and exceptional event, in particular because it'll be the 50th world championship in triples. The President of the Republic, Mr Patrice Talon, decided himself both the location of the future bowling alley and the site to be used for these world championships: it'll be the Amazon esplanade, emblem of the new image of Benin revealed, located on the seafront, just opposite the Presidency of the Republic.

- Benin will organise successively the world championships in singles, doubles and mixed, to replace New Caledonia, then in triples and precision shooting, from 8th to 18th September. The organisation will even make an exceptional effort not foreseen in the specifications by offering, for each delegation, the stay of the two women participating in the grouped world championships.

All the Beninese, petanque players or not, are looking forward to this event which has already a great impact on the population and will make better known, their magnificent country, the kindness of its inhabitants, its welcoming and organisational capacities which some would do well to learn from. It could also allow others to review their geography and forget various sporting and other prejudices. It would be another victory for sport.

Le Pays Emergent N°1882 of Monday 17 April 2023 (PDF file click to open)

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