Speaking at the event, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, said his administrationâ€™s vision to reform sports is aimed at creating jobs and curbing restiveness among youths.The governor unveiled the new logo of the club which has the legendary Queen Idia mask as the main attraction. Also, Obaseki unveiled sets of brand new jerseys, team bus, technical team as well as manual for the rebranded Bendel Insurance Football Club. The new technical crew of the team is headed by Monday Odigie as Manager, while Baldwin Bazuaye, is the Head Coach with Greg Ikhenoba as his Assistant.According to Obaseki, â€œWe have a keen interest to reform the sports sector in the state, and this is aimed at providing solutions to youth restiveness and unemployment. For us, sports have the potential to uplift the lives of our people and offer hope to youths who seek a better country.â€œEdo people are sports-loving. We will leverage this as we continue our reforms and give hope to our teeming youths. The steps made in reforming the Bendel Insurance FC will serve as reference point to drive more reforms in the sector.â€œThe Benin Arsenal I know will soon bounce back big and with what I have seen today, its obvious that a silent revolution on how club-sides should be properly managed outside governmentâ€™s funding is happening,â€ he stressed further.The governor added that the reforms will focus on grassroots sports development, noting, â€œDesign and contracts for the construction of mini stadium in each local government area across the state have been completed. Local government chairmen will be mandated to ensure that the project is completed to encourage young men and women at the grassroots to tap into sports.â€Obaseki called on investors in the state to support the present administrationâ€™s efforts to restore the state to its pride of place in sports in the country.Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, hailed â€œthe achievements of the club, which has a reputation of producing top stars for the national team. These include, George Omokaro, Peter Egharevba, Henry Ogboe, Agwo Naji, Austin Eguavoen, Wilson Oruma, Osaze Odemwingie, Julius Aghahowa, Elderson Echiejile, Baldwin Bazuaye, Pius Ikedia and several other ex-internationals.These great players have represented the state at national and international assignments.â€Shaibu added, â€œThe decision to rebrand the Bendel Insurance FCâ€™s logo with the image of Queen Idia was to project the club members as warriors, out to win battles. I am optimistic that the rebranded Bendel Insurance FC will emerge as a force to contend with.â€On his part, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, who was physically present at the event, commended the state government for its initiatives in repositioning Bendel Insurance FC, and urged â€œThe state government to partner corporate bodies for sponsorship to achieve self-funding and ensure the club is not dependent on government grants anymore.â€“It is important for football clubs to run independent of government interference to ensure consistency. The club can develop its cards; Silver and Premium cards and VIP stand to serve as means for generating funds,â€ he added.Former Sports Commissioner of the state, Brown Ebewele, Igoh Igumah, who was House of Representatives Sports Committee kingpin, were among the distinguished sports personalities that graced the occasion.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Says reforms aimed at job creation and youth devtDuro IkhazuagbeOne of Nigeriaâ€™s foremost football clubs, Bendel Insurance FC, was rebranded on Tuesday night at the Government House in Benin with most of the players and coaches that made the team household name in the countryâ€™s football present.Legends like 86-year-old Alabi Aisien who won the 1978 Challenge Cup final as head coach of the Benin Arsenal and the first coach to win the FIFA Under-16 World Cup in China in 1985, Sebastine Brodericks-Imasuen, were present at the event along with several ex-players of the team.
Despite a second-half comeback attempt by Penn State, the No. 5 Wisconsin men’s basketball team outlasted the Nittany Lions in State College, Pennsylvania Wednesday night 55-47 to capture its ninth straight victory.Wisconsin (24-2, 12-1 Big Ten) was led by junior forward Sam Dekker, who had a team-best and season-best 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting (3-for-6 from three) Wednesday along with five rebounds. Senior forward Frank Kaminsky was the only other UW player in double figures with 16 points and nine rebounds.The Badgers took a 31-24 lead into halftime over Penn State (15-12, 3-11 Big Ten) and extended that lead to 16, 46-30, with eight minutes and 52 seconds left in the second half. Earlier in the half, the Nittany Lions went on a more than six-minute scoring drought, staying at 26 points and helping Wisconsin extend its lead.But from there Penn State responded with a 13-3 run that pulled them within six at 49-43 with a little over three minutes left in the game.However, Wisconsin made its free throws from that point on to leave State College with a win and a program-best 24-2 overall record.Penn State guard D.J. Newbill, who entered the game as the Big Ten’s leading scorer, had a game-high 29 points and was the only Nittany Lion to score over seven points.Wisconsin sophomore forward Nigel Hayes hauled in a game-high 13 rebounds along with nine points.Neither team shot particularly well, as Wisconsin was just 20-for-51 (39.2 percent) while Penn State went 21-for-54 (38.9 percent) from the floor. Both teams struggled from beyond the arc, as well, with Wisconsin shooting just 22.7 percent (5-for-22) and Penn State shooting only 15.4 percent (2-for-13) from three.The Badgers will now turn their attention to their next game on Saturday against Minnesota (16-11, 5-9 Big Ten) at the Kohl Center.With the regular season coming to a close — Wisconsin has just six games left until the Big Ten tournament and postseason play begins — the Badgers can finally start to look toward clinching their first regular season conference championship since 2008. As of Wednesday night, the Badgers have a three game lead over three teams (No. 16 Maryland, Michigan State and Purdue) in the Big Ten conference standings.It is possible for the Badgers to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular season Saturday. If Wisconsin can defeat the Gophers at the Kohl Center and either Maryland, Michigan State or Purdue loses, the Badgers will clinch a share of the conference title.But first they’ll have to take care of their border rival Saturday. Minnesota fell to Northwestern 72-66 Wednesday night to give them back-to-back losses after falling to Indiana Sunday night. Gopher senior guard Andre Hollins led Minnesota with 12 points, six assists and four rebounds Wednesday.Hollins leads the Minnesota scoring threat, averaging a team-high 15 points to go with 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. The 6-foot-2 guard is deadly from deep, making 43.8 percent of his shots from three, which is good for third best in the Big Ten.Wisconsin and Minnesota will square off at 11 a.m. Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center. The game will be televised on ESPN.Game VitalsNo. 5 Wisconsin (24-2, 12-1 Big Ten)Big Ten: 12-1, 1st place by three games over Maryland, Michigan State and PurdueLast Game: Defeated Penn State on the road, 55-47Probable Starters: G – Bronson Koenig (6-4, 7.5 ppg), G – Josh Gasser (6-4, 7.3 ppg), F – Nigel Hayes (6-8, 12.4 ppg), F – Sam Dekker (6-9, 13.0 ppg), F – Frank Kaminsky (7-0, 17.6 ppg)Key Reserves: G – Zak Showalter, F – Duje Dukan, F – Vitto BrownMinnesota (16-11, 5-9 Big Ten)Big Ten: 5-9, 11th placeLast Game: Lost to Northwestern at home, 72-66Probable Starters: G – DeAndre Mathieu (5-9, 8.3 ppg), G – Andre Hollins (6-2, 15.0 ppg), F – Joey King (6-9, 9.0), F – Charles Buggs (6-9, 3.8), F – Maurice Walker (6-10, 11.7)Key Reserves: G – Nate Mason, G – Carols Morris, C – Elliott EliasonWho – No. 5 Wisconsin vs. MinnesotaWhen – Saturday, Feb. 21, 11 a.m.Where – Kohl Center (17,230); Madison, WisconsinTV – ESPN