By Sade Williams
Delta Airlines has come to the rescue of Nigeria’s football Dream Team by providing a dedicated charter flight to fly the team from Atlanta to Manaus in Brazil less than 24 hours before their crucial Rio Olympics football game opening match against Japan.
Thanks to a tab temporarily picked up by Delta Air Lines for the charter flight, the stranded team is expected to land in Brazil at 2pm local time which gives the team just enough time to clear customs and stretch before kickoff at 9pm.
The Nigeria Dream team flew to Manaus in the special Delta charter flight usually used for the National Basketball Association, flight 757-200 (VIP NBA Aircraft) to operate the flight, after obtaining NBAs permission to operate the aircraft for the mission.
“This is a special occasion, not only because it’s the Olympics,” Delta spokesman Anthony Black said, but also, “exactly 20 years ago, on this day, the Nigerian football team needed a miracle to beat Argentina to win the gold medal in Atlanta at the Olympics. Today, we are happy to help them with another miracle.”
According to Samson Siasia, the coach of the Nigerian team “The team is flying down on a charter that takes sports teams to their destinations. This makes the players happy. The players will have more leg room and they will be able to sleep on their way to Manaus.”