Following the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games jersey saga, the Nigeria’s minister of sports, Sunday Dare, has reportedly stated he was not aware of jersey shortage in Team Nigeria’s camp until a video was distributed on social media.
According to earlier reports from the PUNCH, Chukwuebika Enekwechi, who reached the final of the men’s shot put event, provoked reactions from his compatriots’ back home, when he posted a TikTok video revealing that he had just one jersey, which he washed after every event.
According to further reports, Enekwechi was seen in the video washing his shirt, with the caption, “When you made the Olympic finals, but you have only one jersey.”
The video reportedly sparked reactions on social media, with some wondering why the Puma kits were lying in waste, with athletes not having enough kits to use.
In reaction to this, the minister, in a press statement titled, ‘On Nigeria’s participation at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics’, reportedly blamed saboteurs and sports ministries for the embarrassments faced by the athletes.
According to the statement, “The quantity of competition wears given to each athlete is the decision of the particular federation. No complaints came to my notice until the Tik Tok Video posted by one of the athletes went viral. We Immediately stepped in to manage the situation. The Federation involved has been directed to provide a detailed explanation about the kit.”
He added that, “Team Nigeria was properly kitted for the games with a 9-item backpack using a local manufacturer in harmony with President Buhari’s policy on local content.”
The Minister disclosed that, “Before any federation which is a component of Team Nigeria however wears any brand, it must refer to the Ministry and the NOC for clearance and approval. The Ministry and NOC must be fully aware of the contract details by the Federation to protect the rights and freedoms of the athletes and ensure Nigeria’s interests are protected.”
Dare made it known that, “I will not want to go into too many details on this issue because it is sub judice. Suffice it to say that the Ministry was not part of the agreement. The Tik Tok video on the issue was an attempt to create a media frenzy to embarrass Nigeria.”
He restated that, “Following from the above, the issue relating to the competition wears vis a vis the alleged arrangement with Puma is most unfortunate. I have demanded a proper investigation into this matter. Such an inquiry will unearth the truth about how some people tried to sabotage Nigeria’s participation and undermine the country and our Olympic athletes.”