German sports apparel manufacturer Puma has terminated its four-year sponsoring and licensing deal with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN.
The German sporting giant cited recent developments at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were Nigerian athletes have struggled with unfortunate developments. From 10 athletes being banned due to the AFN’s failure to comply with out-of-competition testing rules to the recent revelation of athletes being given a single kit manufactured by Alfa Sports for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics despite the official kit partner Puma supplying sufficient kits for the athletes which were left behind in Lagos.
Failure to use the supplied Puma kits also saw the athletes miss out on monetary rewards for medalists, with the kit supplier rewarding gold medalists with $15,000, silver medalists with 5,000 while bronze medalists will receive $3000.
This recent development was revealed in a statement by the Ibrahim Gusau-led faction of the AFN.
The statement reads: German sportswear manufacturing giants PUMA has terminated its four-year contract with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria. In a letter dated Wednesday 4th August 2021 and signed by the company’s director Manuel Edlheimb, PUMA said it was officially notifying the Athletics Federation of Nigeria of its termination of Sponsoring and Licensing Agreement.
“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”.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria under the leadership of Engr Ibrahim Gusau signed a 4-year contract with PUMA in 2019 and was due to expire in 2022. Part of the contract is that PUMA will supply apparels to all age categories to Nigeria’s Athletics team for four years at no cost. In addition, gold medalists at the Olympic Games will earn $15,000, silver medalists will get 5,000 while a bronze medal will fetch athletes wearing the PUMA apparel at the games $3000.
The Minister of Youth and sports Sunday Dare had vowed in a statement that Nigerian Athletics athletes to the Games will not wear PUMA because of a leadership tussle between the Ibrahim Gusau led AFN board and the one being championed by the minister.
Several efforts were made to give the athletes the PUMA kits including shipping bags of kits with 40 items each to Tokyo through the Nigerian Embassy in Japan but Mr. Dare wrote to the Ambassador stopping him from sending the kits to the athletes.
It will be recalled that on September 3, 2020, the Department of State Services DSS cleared the Ibrahim Gusau led board and its marketing firm Dynamic Sporting Solutions Nigeria Limited of receiving money meant for the AFN.