German sportswear manufacturing giants, PUMA ,will sue the Athletics Federation of Nigeria and Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The sportswear manufacturer had terminated the four-year contract in a letter dated Wednesday, August 4, 2021, and signed by the company’s director Manuel Edlheimb.
Tidesports source gathered that the AFN under the leadership of Ibrahim Gusau had entered into a controversial $2.76m deal with Puma on July 24, 2019, in Doha.
The deal led to a major crisis that split the athletics body into two factions, with both Gusau and Adeleye accused of sidelining other members of the board during the signing of the deal.
The deal, signed by Gusau-led AFN, was due to expire in 2022.
Part of the contract is that PUMA will supply apparel to 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 $3,000.
PUMA said Nigeria breached provisions of the contract by not wearing the kits at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
This, the sportswear manufacturer, said is against clauses 9.2 and 7.3 of the Agreement.
Tidesports source also gathered that PUMA officials have got in touch with officials of Gusau-led AFN informing them of an intention to sue.
A source said that the sports ministry would be made a party to the suit “because they issued a memo granting AFN permission to seek sponsorship. PUMA sees AFN as a representative of Nigeria with that memo. It gave them confidence that AFN had approval. They also claimed that as of the time of signing the contract, the parties involved are recognised by law and FG, and there was no faction to warrant suspicion. They believe an administration is a continuum and the agreement has government backing.”
The AFN First Vice President, Sunday Adeleye, confirmed this while appearing on Arise TV as a guest yesterday.
While displaying evidence and documents showing the FG’s approval for the federation to seek a sponsor, Adeleye said, “The contract is a non-disclosure one. It is between PUMA and AFN with FMYSD’s permission. We warned that this may lead to litigation and wrote to all parties involved, including finance and justice ministries.
“We are sure that PUMA will go to court on this matter. Their officials have called that they are sending documents from their legal department. We wrote the minister on the implications for Nigeria. This won’t make other companies deal with Nigeria.”
He also argued that Gusau-led AFN did everything possible to ensure that the image of the country is protected.
On why the kits were kept in a store, he said, “Our AFN has been barred from using facility in the stadium and we needed to run the activities of the association. We have a store and office that we run. The constitution didn’t say our office should be in the stadium.”
Asked he would take responsibility for the termination of the contract, Adeleye said, “We should be awarded because we are patriotic. FG asked federations to look for sponsors (before Sunday Dare). This contract precedes him. They are aware of the contract.
“We worked with instruction. We looked for a sponsor so that the burden can be taken off the Federal Government. The sports ministry should be sanctioned. We need a shake-up in the sports ministry.
“The problem is the minister and sports ministry under his administration. Our problems have never been this worse. Federations have issues but not to this extend. Despite a court order, the minister is resolute in destroying some people. We gave the kits out, the ministry said they were not going to use the kits.”
It was learnt that several efforts were made to give the athletes the PUMA kits, including shipping bags of kits with 40 items each to Tokyo through the Nigerian Embassy in Japan but to no avail.
Tidesports source reports that the Department of State Security last year cleared Gusau and his vice president Sunday Adeleye over corruption allegations levelled against him by the sports ministry, The .
The sports in 2020 ministry petitioned the DSS over the AFN’s partnership deal with Puma to kit Nigeria’s track and field teams until 2023.
The DSS, in a response to the sports ministry’s petition titled “Re: Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD), Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and Alhaji Shehu Gusau”, dated September 3, 2020, and signed on behalf of the Director General of the DSS by Bello Mustapha, was received on September 4, 2020 by the sports ministry.
Pinnick Woos FIFA For Tenure Elongation
According to Tidesports sources, in a letter sent to the world body last week and signed by General Secretary, Muhhamed Sanusi, the outgoing board led by Amaju Pinnick appealed to the world body to allow it to hold the forthcoming election next year’s January instead September.
Amaju Pinnick and his board were reelected for a second term in office on September 20, 2018 in Katsina and his tenure is meant to elapse next month.
However, sources revealed that the letter was already sent to FIFA before the NFF topshots informed the board members in an online platform of the federation.
The plan is to read the FIFA response at the AGA expected to take place this week in Bayelsa State.
The source added that the members were irked that a few people on the board took such a decision without informing others from the beginning and they are hoping to use the response to extend their tenure at the Annual General Assembly scheduled for Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
“It is indeed a taboo. Rather than get the consent of the board members and the Congress before sending the letter to FIFA, the letter was sent.
“There is no doubt, a few people at the top echelon of the current board want to remain in office beyond the September date,” our source revealed.
“There is a tentative date of August 16 for the AGA in Bayelsa and another date of September 21 for the elective Congress in a yet to be decided venue but it is clear the current board is reluctant to leave office.
“The majority of the board members are resolute to take out this current leadership for so many reasons especially because many of them were never informed about crucial decisive issues in the administration of the game,” a source told Tidesports source
Although Amaju Pinnick had stated time without number that he would not seek a new term in office, the former Delta State FA Chairman recently said that “influential people” are pushing him to contest for a 3rd term.
Nigeria U-21 Volleyball Team Departs For Tunisia
He stated this while biding the team farewell at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Friday, adding that the target for the participation of Nigeria is to qualify for the world championship, stressing that, “We are also building them up for the All African Games next year and the next Olympics,” he said.
Also Speaking with Sports Writers, Coach Sani Mohammed Musa of the male U-21 men, said that the team are African champions and have featured in World Championship twice.
He said that bearing in mind that the North Africans would be battle ready for Nigeria, they will leave no stone unturned to ensuring they achieved their objectives.
Female Footballers, Officials Abducted In Edo
Tidesports learnt that the six victims were kidnapped around 6pm on Friday, while returning from a game at Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.
A source in the community said the kidnappers had contacted some families demanding a ransom of N5million each for the victims.
He said, “They (footballers) went to Owa-Alero to play a football match, but on their way back, they were kidnapped at Uronigbe area, the boundary between Delta and Edo States.
“The victims include Mrs Precious Agbajor, one Abraham, Nancy, Beatrice, the driver and one other person. They are six in number that are in the kidnapper’s den.
Tidesports learned that the matter has been reported at the Uronigbe police station.
“The kidnappers have contacted the family of Agbajor and asked them to pay N5million for his wife.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Delta State, DSP Bright Edafe, confirmed the kidnap, adding that the incident happened in Edo State.
His Edo State counterpart, Chidi Nwabuzor, said from the records available at the State Command, there was no information on the incident.
“You know we transmit our records to Force Headquarters everyday. There is no such record before us. From the Command’s record, no such incident happened on Friday, so the police will not give account of anything unreported.
“It is only when an incident is reported that the police can act on it. In most cases, citizens are not aware of the powers to report incidents. So the record I have from the Command is that no such incident happened on Friday, Saturday and even on Thursday.”
Business3 days ago
Electronic Auction Platform, Most Authentic For Goods -NCS
Business3 days ago
Truckers Threaten Service Withdrawal Over Customs’ Haulage Truck Seizures
Business3 days ago
Subsidy: Reps Summon Finance Minister, Query NNPC
Politics3 days ago
Fynebone And The Rambling Of A Sinking Man
Politics3 days ago
Consider Hardship Under Buhari, Group Tells Tinubu Promoters
Politics3 days ago
Falsehood, Disinformation Won’t Win Elections, Tinubu Tells Obi
Politics3 days ago
Nigeria On Wrong Course For 2023 Poll – NADECO
Opinion2 days ago
Breaking The Jinx