German sportswear manufacturing giants PUMA has terminated its four-year contract with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.
This was contained in a letter of termination of Sponsoring and Licensing Agreement, issued on Wednesday, August 4.
PUMA said, “we are referring to the 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,” the statement added.
The termination of the deal comes amidst an alleged leadership tussle between the Ibrahim Gusau-led AFN board; as well as that headed by the Minister for Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare.
Consequently, the minister is said to have vowed that the Nigerian Athletes will not wear the PUMA kits.
The Department of State Services had last year cleared Gusau as well as his vice president Sunday Adeleye; over corruption allegations levelled against him by the sports ministry.
In a new twist; PUMA officials have reportedly got in touch with officials of Gusau-led AFN also 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; also confirmed this while appearing on Arise TV as a guest on Thursday.
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 as well as 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.”