Nigeria’s Olympic team has seen its sponsorship revoked by German sportswear giant Puma. Plagued by serious drug-testing disqualifications, poor performance, under preparedness and even a TikTok video of a Nigerian athlete washing his uniform with the caption: “When you made the Olympic Finals, but you only have one jersey.” It was enough to prompt Puma to end its 2.7 million dollar endorsement of the Nigeria’s entire Olympic athletes and team.
According to a press release Puma said it ended its sponsoring and licensing agreement with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria “as a direct consequence of recent developments, particularly at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. We hereby terminate the Agreement with immediate effect.”
In the initial contract Puma would have supplied apparel to all age categories of Nigeria’s Athletics team for four years at no cost. Financial sums would have been paid to medallists wearing their Puma uniforms, with gold receiving 15,000 dollars, silver 5,000 dollars and a bronze medal would fetch athletes 3,000 dollars.
The statement continued: “Puma especially declares to be discharged from any or all obligations towards all stakeholders involved and reserves all rights against these entities and individuals.”
According to Nigerian news outlet Punch a former senator representing Kaduna Central district at the National Assembly, Shehu Sani, has blamed officials of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for the embarrassment faced by Nigeria’s athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Sani posted on Facebook, “Puma donated these 2.7 million dollars kits freely to Nigeria and offered to financially reward our medal-winning athletes. Our officials rejected them and preferred to use public funds to purchase from other sources. Now our Athletes are embarrassed in Tokyo.”