The Chairman of the Marketing and Sponsorship Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, Emeka Inyama, has denied reports of that the Federation’s recent kit sponsorship contract with American sportswear giants, NIKE, was not aboveboard.
Inyama insisted that global best practice was followed in all processes leading to the consummation of the agreement.
“First and foremost, it is not a five-year contract; it is a three-and-half year contract. There was no underhand dealing in the contract because NIKE is a super brand and would not even do that, and the present NFF top hierarchy will never be part of such,” Inyama said in an NFF release.
“We must also ask a pertinent question: How come Adidas pulled out despite the fact that we won the FIFA U-17 World Cup (2013), Africa Cup of Nations (2013), African Youth Championship (2011), African Women Championship (2010), reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup and qualified for all FIFA competitions, including performing creditably in those competitions? This is food for thought.”
Inyama added that after Adidas went out the door, some other global brands were approached but showed no interest in partnering with Nigeria football.
He added: “Puma and Under Armour are some of the brands that did not show interest. NIKE was reluctant as well, and don’t forget that we were also negotiating from the weak position of a Federation whose flagship team had failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.
“NIKE was reluctant but after investigating thoroughly the calibre of people running the Federation presently, they consented and said these are people they trust and could do business with.”
The ranking member of the NFF Executive Committee also disclosed that Nigeria had got to a point of buying jerseys for the various National Teams.
“The President and Chairman of Marketing Committee should be commended for the efforts they made to get NIKE, which has saved the country up to $3 million in purchase of jerseys for the National Teams to take part in matches and competitions.
“It is also wrong to say that there is no fee in the contract. There are bonuses and products, and payments that are open to negotiation when our teams do well at international tournaments. At the appropriate time, we will publish the contract agreement for all to see.”