As Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin City begin preparations for the 2023/24 domestic football season and the CAF Confederations Cup competition scheduled to kick off in August, the Chairman of the Benin Arsenals and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu has restated the Edo State Government’s commitment to sustaining the well-being and promotion of Bendel Insurance Football Club to an enviable height.
Comrade Shaibu gave the assurance after training with the team on Monday evening. The Deputy Governor gave the team a surprise package during the visit and trained with them as well in his usual way of motivating the players.
He promised that the team will adequately be rewarded for bringing honour to their father’s land by winning the 2023 Federation Cup after fourth three years.
“I came to train with our players today, to see how they are preparing for the new season. I am around to also see the new players and how they are doing, blending with those they met on ground. We are still in the mood of celebration of our success in the FA Cup and we are also celebrating our defender Benjamin Tanimu’s birthday. We will continue to encourage them.
On the sustainability of Insurance FC, the Deputy Governor restated that Insurance is being repositioned to be self-sustaining. He reassured that Edo State Government will continue to sustain the club and take it to an enviable height 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 arrangement. 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 said.
“I want to assure you that all of you will adequately be 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,” Shaibu remarked.
Comrade Shaibu ascribed Bendel Insurance’s successes 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 Premier League status and later pursued trophies but we ended up becoming a big force, finished as best in our group without losing a match before going into the playoffs, and later won the FA Cup. So, I give kudos to all of us, from the players, management to government,” Shaibu added.
Bendel Insurance FC gained promotion from the nation’s second tier league NNL, as champions and dominated the Premier League without tasting defeat in the regular season before going ahead to win the FA Cup after beating Rangers International of Enugu 1-0 in Asaba on June 21, 2023.