Sport

PUMA ends 4-year contract with Athletics Federation of Nigeria

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German sports wear manufacturing giants, PUMA, has announced the termination of its four-year contract with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.

The company’s director, Manuel Edlheimb, in a letter dated Wednesday 4th August 2021, said PUMA was officially notifying the Athletics Federation of Nigeria of its termination of Sponsoring and Licensing Agreement.

The letter read in part, “We are referring to the licensing and sponsoring agreement signed between our company and your federation.

“As a direct consequence of the recent developments, particularly at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 and pursuant to clauses 9.2 and 7.3 of the Agreement, we hereby terminate the Agreement with immediate effect.

“PUMA especially declares to be discharged from any or all obligations towards all stakeholders involved and reserves all rights against these entities and individuals.”

This development comes hours after three-time Nigerian champion, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, who recently qualifed for the men’s shot put finals in the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics, posted a video of himself washing his “only” jersey in a sink under running tap water.

The US-based athlete captioned the now-deleted TikTok video, “When you made the Olympic Finals, but you only have one jersey.” The post has since generated mixed reactions about the welfare of Team Nigeria in Japan.

Backstory

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria under the leadership of Engr Ibrahim Gusau, had, on July 24, 2019, entered into a controversial $2.76m deal with PUMA which was due to expire in 2022.

The contract included an agreement that PUMA will supply apparels to Nigeria’s Athletics team in all age categories for four years at no cost.

In addition, gold medalists at the Olympic Games will receive $15,000, silver medalists will get $5,000, while a bronze medal will fetch athletes wearing the PUMA apparel at the games $3000.

However, the minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare, had vowed in a statement that Nigerian athletes competing in the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics will not wear PUMA kits due to a leadership tussle between the Ibrahim Gusau-led AFN board and the one being championed by the minister.

Despite efforts to provide the athletes with PUMA kits, including shipping bags of kits to Tokyo via the Nigerian Embassy in Japan, the minister thwarted the plan by writing to the Ambassador to prevent the kits from being sent to the athletes.

Recall the Department of State Services (DSS), on September 3, 2020, cleared the Gusau-led board and its marketing firm, Dynamic Sporting Solutions Nigeria Limited of corruption allegations leveled by the sports ministry.

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