The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has blamed Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Sunday Dare for the termination of the $2.7 million sponsorship deal with German sports wear maker, Puma.
AFN said the kit Puma sent to it for Tokyo Olympics, was stopped by the minister through the Nigerian Embassy in Japan.
The federation in a statement said, “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 apparel of 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.”
The AFN further stated that it made efforts to get the Puma kits to the athletes including shipping bags of kits with 40 items each to Tokyo through the Nigerian Embassy in Japan, but the minister wrote to the ambassador blocking the kits from getting to the athletes.
The AFN also revealed that a DSS investigation conducted in 2020, cleared the AFN boss, Ibrahim Gusau of receiving money meant for the AFN.
Puma had terminated its 4-year $2.7 million deal with Nigeria over a kitting controversy for the Tokyo Olympics.