AMBODE RECEIVES DIOUF, KANU NWANKWO, FINIDI GEORGE, ZOKORA, OTHER SOCCER LEGENDS
…As stars arrive for Saturday’s testimonial match
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday received top African football legends at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, urging countries in the continent to look inward and explore the possibility of using sports to grow their economies, saying sports remain a veritable tool to foster growth and development.
Some of the African soccer legends who paid the courtesy visit to the Governor include Kanu Nwankwo, Finidi George, Victor Ikpeba, El Hadji Diouf, Diomansy Kamara, Didier Zokora, Khalilou Fadiga Austin Eguavoen, Mutiu Adepoju, Waidi Akanni, Uche Okechuku and Seydou Keita.
Governor Ambode, while receiving some of the soccer legends that would be participating in a testimonial match on Saturday put together in his honour as he prepares to exit office, said the sense of brotherhood in sports must be played up for the benefits of the continent in terms of scaling up the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of African countries.
According to him, “We have always used sports to build bridges and there is this sense of brotherhood anytime that you switch on your television and there is an African playing on any line-up be it Liverpool, be it Tottenham, that feeling is always there and that brotherhood is something that we can use to grow the economies of Africa nations.
“I had this dream when I came in as Governor that I could use sports, tourism, entertainment and arts with some sense of hospitality to promote excellence. So, I had something called Project T.H.E.S.E and my dream was to catalyze everything around sports and use it to build tourism and also grow the GDP of Lagos.
“So, that was the dream and why we promoted as many sporting activities as possible so that we could create a platform for tourism which made many people to travel here and just like you have come now, you will lodge in our hotels and the hotels at the end of the day would pay taxes and then we use it to do the infrastructure that we are doing.”