By Ikenna Okonkwo
The shortage of NIKE kits for the various national teams hit its climax during the week when the National U-23 team, Dream Team VI, currently in Port Harcourt, preparing for the Olympic qualifiers against Congo today, had to rely on Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike to have a new set of training jerseys.
Wike was said to have actually procured kits from a market around Port Harcourt.
Nigerian Pilot Sports gathered from a reliable source in the team that the incident became very embarrassing to the extent that players could not have a change of kits after a very wet training session on Monday.
According to an inside source who does not want his name on print revealed, “after the team’s morning training on Monday, it rained heavily, and the players and their officials could not have another set of NIKE kits to enable them training in the afternoon, an SOS message was immediately sent to the NFF secretariat in Abuja, to see if they can arrange to send the team some training materials.
“But unfortunately, the signals from Glasshouse, was not favourable at all, as Abuja told them in clear terms that there are no jerseys in stock in the store, and the team had to train, and must not wear the Addidas kits that they have, so I thought the message got to the Governor, who ordered that his aides should immediately get the team a set of NIKE lemon green jerseys in the open market. That was what the team used in their training, and still uses to inter change what they have now.”
NFF had issued a release few weeks ago claiming that the football house has supplied enough kit to national team in camp.
While explaining the rationale behind securing a new kit supplier for the country’s various team, NFF President Amaju Pinnick confirmed that the NIKE deal was bargained from a weak stand point, following the dwindling fortunes of the Super Eagles, and that the Federation was not entitled to any financial benefits.
By Ikenna Okonkwo