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$2.7m Kits: PUMA To Sue Nigeria For Breach Of Contract

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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.

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Obuah Lauds Nwabali Over Chieftaincy Title

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The proprietor of Go Round FC , Bro. Felix Obuah cups he was  on cloud nine seeing  his former ward, Super Eagles’ first choice goalkeeper  at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023  in Cote d’Ivoire,  Stanley Bobo Nwabali,  being conferred with a chieftaincy title at his Egbema Kingdom home in  the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State .
The 27-year-old  Chippa United goalie was led to the ceremony  on Sunday by Bro. Obuah as  he first paid a courtesy call to the ONELGA council headquarters where the Chairman, at the Nzeobi’s palace in Aggah-Egbema,  HRM Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics which he noted, engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad.
Sir Vincent Job announced a  cash gift  of N5 million in addition to a street  being named after .
At the Nzeobi’s palace in Aggah-Egbema,  HRM Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics “This is the dream of every father, that his son or daughter makes it to the top. When we started, I had the dream that one day if they put in their best, they will reach the zenith of their careers,” Bro Obuah said.which he noted , engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad.
A grand reception was later  held in Nwabali’s honour at the Community Primary School, Okwuzi where top dignitaries  including  Sir Job, Chief Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly and member Representing ONELGA Constituency I, Hon Franklin Nwabochi as well as member representing ONELGA Constituency II, Hon Dcns Nkemjika Ezekwe showered encomiums on the Super Eagles shot stopper.

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Rivers Hoopers Coach Sure To Make Statement

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Rivers Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu says his team will face a huge task after Thursday’s 2024 Basketball Africa League draw.
Hoopers were drawn against former champions US Monastir, APR of Rwanda, and Senegal’s AS Douanes in the Sahara Conference.
Top two teams will advance to the BAL playoffs scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from May 24 to the first of June.
There will also be a slot for two best third-placed teams from across the three conferences (Kalahari, Nile, and Sahara).
“The group is obviously a very tough one, Odaudu said.”
‘’Former champions US Monastir, APR who defeated the Rwandan team (REG), who were at the BAL last year; they are a very tough team too. Of course, last year’s finalist, AS Douanes, is in that group, so we have been placed in the group of death.
While the other two conferences will hold in March and April, the Nigeria Premier League Champions won’t play until May 4.
Odaudu added, ‘’Notwithstanding, we have enough time to prepare and be there. We will overcome once the jump ball comes.’’
Since the inaugural edition in 2021, Rivers Hoopers and Kwara Falcons are the only Nigerian teams who have played in the BAL, and neither have gone past the group stage.
The former Nigeria international wants his team to be the first Nigerian team to make it to the playoffs of the Basketball Africa League.
“First and foremost, getting out of the group is our target for this year’s BAL. We are tired of just going to participate and coming back home after the first round.
“For us this season, we want to ensure we get to Kigali and be in the playoffs. Whatever happens from there on is a bonus.

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SWAN Gets New Leaders In Rivers

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The Rivers State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has elected a new leadership.
On Monday, February 19, Peter Abaje of DAAR Communication was voted Chairman alongside other executive members: Vice Chairman – Deinma Abaku; Secretary, Ekpor Temple; Financial Secretary, Bath Ndubuwa, and Eyo Kelvin, Welfare Officer, who will pilot the administrative activities of the association for three years.
While other officers were elected unopposed, Mr. Abaje beat the out gone Chairman, Ms Sarah Atonye David by 10 votes to five to emerge.
The election was held under the supervision of Mr. Gabriel Nwanetanya National Ex Officio, who represented the Zonal Vice President, Azuka Chiemeka.
Inaugurating the newly elected officials, Mr. Gabriel Nwanetanya described the electoral process as peaceful and orderly and charged the Executive members to live above board by re-positioning the association in the state as no excuses would be given for non-performance.
He encouraged them to be creative and look inward to discover and showcase the abundant sports talents existing in Rivers State and also appealed to them not to apply personal interest to move the association forward.
In his inaugural speech shortly after the election, Peter Abaje, the newly elected Chairman of SWAN in Rivers State, said that the conclusion of this election signaled a new dawn in the state chapter of the association and vowed to lift the association to greater heights.
The Chairman also promised to carry every member along in the scheme of things as well as operate an open-door policy.
“The new leadership under my watch would collaborate with the private institutions and Rivers State Government to promote and develop community sports as well as encourage the education of members in areas of sports journalism, he assured.
Members of the association who voted and witnessed the election process, applauded the SWANECO for delivering a hitch-free, fair and transparent election.

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