Chairman of Edo State Football Association, Frank Ilaboya has given a pat on the back to the state governor, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Rt. Hon Philip Shaibu over the promotion of Bendel Insurance to the elite class of the nation’s domestic league.
An excited Ilaboya who spoke after Insurance beat arch rivals 3SC to confirm their NPFL qualification in the Aba Super 8 play off said the return of Insurance was clearly a fall out of the massive support the club enjoyed from Gov Obaseki.
“The support for Insurance from the state government was total. The players got all that they needed to perform from the governor. Gov Obaseki rebranded the club and I m so excited that after over a decade Insurance are back to where they rightly belong. The Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu has equally been wonderful. He not only motivated the players but even stepped unto the pitch to play making history as the first sitting deputy governor to lace boots in the Nigerian league. As FA chairman, I m happy this is happening in our time,” Ilaboya said.
Ilaboya who is Owan West local government chairman said soccer fans should watch out for Insurance this season as they would make their return in grand style insisting that the target of the club would be to do well and possibly pick a continental ticket.
“As we speak the government is working on the Ogbe Stadium which would be used to host the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival.
We would also want the arena to host continental football and with the kind of wonderful attention sports is receiving in the state, Insurance would go continental,” Ilaboya said.
He further disclosed that the state’s female team, Edo Queens would also get the same kind of treatment Insurance are getting.
“Gov Obaseki is also planning big for Edo Queens. The female team would soon be rebranded and just like Insurance we want to see Edo Queens climb to the top of female football in the country. On the whole, the state government has total package for sports. It is not just the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium that is being re constructed. The government is building 20 mini stadiums in all the local government areas across the state. Sports in this state has never had it so good,” Ilaboya stated.