As Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin begin preparations for the 2023/24 domestic football season and CAF Confederations Cup Competition scheduled to kick off in August, Chairman of the Benin Arsenals and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu, has restated Edo State Government’s commitment to sustaining the well-being and promotion of the Club to an enviable height.
Shaibu gave the assurance after training with the team Monday evening. He gave the team a surprise package during the visit and trained with them in his usual way of motivating the players.
The sports-loving Deputy Governor promised that the team will adequately be rewarded for bringing honour to their native land by winning the 2023 Federation Cup after 43 years.
According to him: “I came to train with our players today, to see how they are preparing for the new season. I’m around to also see the new players and how they are doing, blending with those they met on the ground. We are still in the mood for a celebration of our success in the FA Cup. We are also celebrating our defender, Benjamin Tanimu’s birthday. We will continue to encourage them”.
On the sustainability of Insurance FC, Shaibu restated that Insurance is being repositioned to be self-sustaining. He reassured that the Edo State Government will continue to sustain the club and take it to enviable heights, to the extent it can sustain itself.
“We are building a club that can sustain itself. Bendel Insurance FC is being run more like in public-private partnership arrangements. Edo State Government funds Insurance but the private sector sponsorship is gradually coming in through jersey sponsorship and marketing”.
“We will continue to be focused. We will continue to promote discipline. We will continue to encourage team spirit and hard work which Bendel Insurance FC is known for”, Shaibu added.
The Deputy Governor, who scored twice during the evening training session with the players, promised that the entire team will be adequately rewarded and celebrated in no distant time, as 2023 Federation Cup champions.
“I want to assure you that all of you will be adequately rewarded. We will all celebrate our success together. We are only waiting for our Governor to approve a date for the celebration. The FA Cup is worth celebrating. We won it after 43 years. It is not a mean feat. Kudos to all of us”.
He ascribed the Club’s success in the 2022/23 football season to teamwork.
“I will not give it to just one man; we all laboured for it. We were only targeting sustaining our premier league status and later pursuing trophies. We ended up becoming a big force, and finished as the best team in our group without losing a match, before going into the playoffs and later winning the FA Cup. So, I give kudos to all of us, from the players, management to the government”.
Bendel Insurance FC gained promotion from Nigeria’s second-tier league, NNL as champions and dominated the premier league without tasting defeat in the regular season. The Club went ahead to win the FA Cup after beating Rangers International FC of Enugu 1-0 in Asaba, Delta State on June 21, 2023.