Former international and football legend, Segun Odegbami, has commended Air Peace for the proposed Diplomacy Wall of Fame initiative to be unveiled in Lagos on July 28.

Odegbami said it was thoughtful that the organisation remembered ex-athletes, who made the nation proud in their prime, adding that it was a fresh hope for many facing different challenges in various aspects in life.

At a brief event, the CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, said arrangements have been concluded to bestow honours on some of the forgotten former national athletes.

The 1976 Olympics team athletes, who were recalled at the eve of the Games due to apartheid in South Africa, and players of the 1980 African Nations Cup winning team are the beneficiaries of the initiative.

The ex-athletes, apart from being ambassadors of Air Peace, will enjoy 12 free return flights of the airline in one year and also one international flight plus a cash reward on July 28.

Odegbami said the decision to write the names of the athletes in gold would mark a turn-around in the lives of many of them and future retired athletes.

The former Eagles captain said: “This is a very good initiative. It is very great to recall that the 1976 Olympics team did not win any medal, but they are being honoured now for their patriotism. It was open for us then to decide to compete as individuals, but there was a collective decision to respect the stand of Nigeria by boycotting the Games.

“I recalled the then Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, provided a brand new DC 10 aircraft to take us back to Nigeria. Let me also mention that there were great athletes in that contingent. The football team defeated host Canada 3-0 in a pre-event friendly and we were all in high spirits. There were great boxers like Davidson Andeh and Obisia Nwakpa in the team as well.

“In the future, I expect more corporate organisations to emulate Air Peace by coming up with initiative that will put smiles on the faces of former athletes.”

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