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PUMA TERMINATES $2.78m SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH AFN AS POSSIBLE LEGAL ACTION LOOMS

Sportswear manufacturer Puma has terminated the four year contract with Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

Reports claim the German Sportswear giants had in a letter dated 4th August 2021 and signed by the company’s director Manuel Edlheimb, terminated the contract. The Athletics Federation of Nigeria under the leadership of Ibrahim Gusau had entered into a $2.78m deal with Puma in July 2019, but controversies have trailed the deal which has split the AFN into two factions.

With the German sportswear company displeased with AFN and the recent developments at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were Nigerian athletes were given kit manufactured by Alfa Sports for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics despite the official kit partner Puma supplying sufficient kits for the athletes which has been allegedly left behind in Lagos. Also, the banning of 10 Nigerian athletes from the Olympics when the athletes had arrived in Tokyo prepared for the competition but due to AFN failure to comply with out of competition testing rules is said to have furious Puma.

The four year deal signed by Gusau led AFN due to expire in 2022, was to fetch outstanding athletes that win medals receive, gold $15,000, silver $5,000, bronze $3,000, while the athletes will wear the Puma kits. Though, part of the contract is that Puma will supply kits to all age categories to Nigeria’s Athletics team for four years at no cost. With said agreement, Puma said Nigeria breached provisions of the contract not wearing the kits at the Tokyo Olympics. This, the sportswear manufacturer, said is against clauses 9.2 and 7.3 of the Agreement. The statement said,

“We are referring to 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’.

With the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare aware of the crisis at the AFN under the leadership of Ibrahim Gusau and Vice President Sunday Adeleye which both are said to be leading the two different factions. Nigerians will await the drama expected to happen if the German sportswear company, Puma possibly carries out legal action for Nigeria not kitting the athletics team at the ongoing 2020 Olympic Tokyo Games as agreed in the contract.

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