The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has expressed confidence of victory, as Bendel Insurance FC of Benin tackle their hosts, Morocco’s Renaissance De Sportive Berkane, in the CAF Confederation Cup reverse fixture scheduled for Friday, September 29, 2023.
The Benin Arsenals, who are Nigeria’s Federation Cup holders were forced to a 2-2 draw by the visiting RS Berkane at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, in Benin City, on Saturday, September 16, and are now in Morocco for the second leg to play for a spot in the group stage of the competition.
Obaseki, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Andrew Okungbowa, urged the team to go for broke, as he noted that the Edo people are behind them, praying for their victory and safe return back to Benin City.
“As you file out tomorrow to take on your opponent, I, on behalf of the Edo State government and the entire people of the State, urge you to go for victory. You have the talents and means to win,” said Obaseki.
He continued: “The State Government and Edo people are behind you, praying for your success because we as a people are noted for our exploits. Don’t be deterred but take on your opponent squarely because I know that you are all brave warriors and ambassadors of our dear State. It is time to make Edo State great again through sports.”
Obaseki also assured the team of the support of Edo people and Nigerians living in Morocco as the State Government and the club management are working with the Nigeria officials in the country to mobilise support for the team tomorrow. This is as the governor promised the team warm reception back home after their victory, noting that advancing to the group stage will be a great feat for them and the State.
The Coach of Bendel Insurance, Monday Odigie, said his boys are prepared and the team is confident of defending their pride and dignity in Morocco on Friday.
Bendel Insurance FC on Monday flew into the Arab city aboard a Royal Air Maroc flight to the warm embrace of Emmanuel Ovye Oliver, the protocol assistant and some other officials of the Nigeria Embassy in Morocco who were on ground at the airport to receive them amid cheers and jubilation.
The team continues to enjoy the support and motivation from the state government and football-loving community of Edo State which has rejuvenated the indomitable spirit for which the football club has always been known.
The Governor Obaseki-led administration has made huge investments in developing and sustaining the football club and the sports sector in the State, with investments that have revitalised sporting activities and elevated the state-owned club from erstwhile relegation into the lofty heights of visibility, which the team now enjoys across the nation and the African continent.
Expressing optimism ahead of the encounter, an avid supporter of Bendel Insurance, Omosigho Ewere, “Bendel Insurance is the better team and there is no doubt they will come back home victorious. I have so much confidence in the team and I am sure they will once again show the world the talent that Edo State possesses.”
Another football-loving resident based in Benin City, Eromosele Joy, said, “We were at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to support our team when we played the visitors. We played fantastically but made a few mistakes. The coach and the boys have assured us that those mistakes will not be repeated. Our prayers are with the team. We trust in their abilities and are confident that they will make us proud on tomorrow.”