NPFL setback: Insurance Technical Crew, Players Apologize to Edo Govt, Fans
The technical crew and players of Bendel Insurance FC of Benin have apologized to Edo state government, Edo state indigenes and their fans all over the world for their inability to beat relegation and remain in the Nigeria Professional Football League in the just concluded NPFL season.
The Benin Arsenal returned to the country’s topflight football league in 2018/2019 season after eleven years in the lower division, the Nigeria National League (NNL) only to be relegated immediately after losing 1-0 to Rivers United in Port Harcourt in their last game of the season in which they needed a draw to beat the drop.
The chief coach of the Club Baldwin Bazuaye and skipper Charles Omokaro while speaking during the club management meeting on Tuesday tendered the apology, saying that they were sorry that their efforts were not good enough to keep them in the NPFL after a tough season that just ended.
They highlighted some of the factors responsible for their unencouraging results to include lack of time to prepare and recruit players after last season’s Super 8 in Aba and the large number of clubs to drop.
Coach Bazuaye and skipper Omokaro maintained that they find it difficult to go back to NNL after all their labour and government encouragement.
“We are really sorry for the disappointment. We know most of our supporters have been heartbroken especially our Deputy Governor and our Governor who have given their all to encourage us. It is regrettable that our performances were not commensurate with government efforts and resources committed into the club. We fell below the expectations of our people but we have the confidence that we can return to the elite division immediately.” Charles said.
While commending the deputy Governor specially for his efforts and encouragement for the club, skipper Omokaro however, appealed to the state government and the deputy Governor not to withdraw their love and care the players and officials have enjoyed so far.
” We have just tasted some premier league actions after eleven years in the lower division and we are sure of returning immediately if given same encouragement we have been enjoying.
The representatives of government led by the deputy chief of staff, office of the deputy Governor Hon Kingsley Ehigiamusor and the chairman sports commission, Godwin Dudu Orumen, including the SA on sports, Mrs Sabina Chikere however, expressed appreciation to the players and officials of the club at the meeting, saying that they have really laboured and need some rest.
They added that it is unfortunate that the club was relegated but expressed the belief that they can bounce back.
They informed the players and officials that while management evaluates the activities of the club and ponder on the way forward, a date for commencement of end of season holiday break will be communicated to them soon.