It was one of the biggest names in Nigerian football in the 1970s up till the early 2000s. But sadly, Bendel Insurance has been languishing in the lower rungs of the country’s football since it was relegated from the elite league early this century.
The Benin-based team alongside Enugu Rangers, Raccah Rovers of Kano, IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan, Spartans of Owerri, Mighty Jets of Jos, Stationery Stores of Lagos and Calabar Rovers were the traditional teams in Nigerian football when the best players from the country still plied their trade in the local league.
Today, most of these teams are history, while a few are in death throe, occasionally raising their heads to remind true lovers of Nigerian football that time was when football was played by skillful and flamboyant men.
Bendel Insurance, winner of a dramatic 1978 Challenge Cup final against Enugu Rangers, may yet rise again. That is the process Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki wants to kick start on February 27 inside Government House, Benin.
Obaseki sees the resuscitation of Bendel Insurance as a critical arm of his aim at galvanising the youths of the state to become better citizens.
Speaking though his deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, Obaseki said Edo is finally ready to re-launch football in Nigeria and it will be through the state’s prime club, Bendel Insurance FC.
According to him, the state, which has witnessed tremendous growth though football development can no…