–NFF set to produce kits in China
By Richard jideaka, Abuja:
Following the Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, top kit manufacturers like Nike, Umbro and Puma have turned down contract overtures made to them by the Nigeria Football Federation.
Even Adidas whose kits contract with NFF expires at the end of December 2014 are not showing interest in the plea by the football ruling body to sign a new contract after they gave notice of withdrawal from the kit sponsorship deal.
Complete Sports gathered that NFF’s concerted efforts to placate Adidas to renegotiate a fresh contract has not been fruitful and the other kit sponsors are not forthcoming with a deal.
Adidas blamed their withdrawal on the players and officials of Super Eagles,especially one of the team’s coaches who breached the contractual agreement during the World Cup in Brazil by wearing kits of rival kits supplier, Nike.
A chieftain of the NFF told the media in Abuja yesterday that the federation has intensified efforts to get Adidas to renege on their withdrawal or get a new kits sponsor but the task has become very difficult because the Eagles failed to qualify for next January’s AFCON.
“NFF is working hard to get a fresh deal with a kit firm. We won’t make their names public until the deal is sealed for fear of Adidas and Nike frustrating them. The truth is that we are discusing with a top, top kit manufacturing firm,’said the NFF official,adding that the federation may face a hard time if the on-going discussion fails to yield a positive fruit.
“The national teams will face kits crisis in 2015 if no deal is reached before the first quarter of next year. It is regrettable that Super Eagles officials and players went ahead to breach the Adidas contract despite several meetings with them.
“Adidas has been one of our best kits suppliers in recent years but the Super Eagles players and officials breached the contract during the world cup. The annoying aspect is that the same Nike they used to slight Adidas eventually rejected us when we approached them for a kit sponsorship deal,”he added.
”They turned us down because we did not qualify for next year’s AFCON in Equatorial Guinea. The chances of Nigeria getting a kit supplier now is very slim considering that we will not be in AFCON’.
The NFF revealed further that the federation are also considering the option of going to China to design and produce kits for our national teams if they failed to tie down a deal before the first quarter of next year.