The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his Bayelsa State counterpart, Senator Douye Diri, have congratulated their state owned football clubs, Bendel Insurance and Bayelsa Queens for winning this year’s Federation Cup trophies.
In the double show which was staged on Wednesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State, Bayelsa Queens successfully defended their title after they edged arch-rivals Rivers United 4-3 on penalties in the women’s finals.
Meanwhile, in the second match of the day, Bendel Insurance piped 10-man Enugu Rangers 1-0 to win their third Federation Cup title after 43 years.
The ‘Benin Arsenals’ who had won the trophy in 1972, 1978 and 1980 will represent Nigeria in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup along with Rivers United.
Reacting to his team’s victory, governor Obaseki of Edo State in a statement said, “I heartily congratulate Bendel Insurance Football Club for an impressive season run which culminated in the lifting of the Federation Cup trophy after defeating Rangers International Football Club in Asaba, Delta.
“The team, also known as the Benin Arsenal, have given an excellent account of themselves and made us all proud with their outstanding performance, which have continued to befuddle bookmakers.
“As the team embarks on continental action with their qualification for the CAF Confederation Cup, I charge them to continue on their impressive run so as to place Edo on the continental map.”
On his part, governor Diri of Bayelsa State said “our female football club, Bayelsa Queens, have made us proud again. They first won the Aiteo/FA Cup, which is now called NFF Tingo Cup, in 2021. They have just retained the trophy at Asaba.
“They participated in the African Women’s Champions League and came out third. They also emerged winners in WAFU after finishing first in Nigeria.
“We are proud of your achievements. While we celebrate you, you are also promoting yourselves. You are equally making good money for yourselves and for your state.”
In the same vein, Diri commended the male team, Bayelsa United, for retaining their place in the Nigerian topflight.
The governor said in the course of the just concluded season, there were fears that Bayelsa United would be relegated but in the end, they successfully retained their position in the elite division of the Nigerian league.
By David Ngobua & Bassey Willie, Yenagoa