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‘Secret’ Puma kits contract tears AFN board apart

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• Due process was not followed, says vice president, George
• Ebewele spits fire

Barely a week after the Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Sunday Adeleye was sacked and Secretary General, Elijah Ademu removed for their alleged roles in the technical and administrative lapses that brought international embarrassment to the country at Doha 2019 IAAF World Championship, another round of crisis seems to be brewing within the athletics body.

This time, the board members are at daggers drawn among themselves following a four-year deal the AFN signed recently with Germany-based sports kit manufacturing company, Puma.

Puma’s Senior Manager Corporate Communications, Robert-Jan Bartunek, had confirmed recently that the agreement with AFN was reached just before the Doha 2019 IAAF World Championships. He failed to give details of the deal.

However, the vice president of AFN, Olamide George told The Guardian yesterday that due process was not followed in the contract with Puma.

“As far as I know, the board is not aware of such kits contract with Puma because due process was not followed,” George said. “How can you sign a kit contract without telling the secretariat? The former secretary (Elijah Ademu) told me that he was not aware of such contract with Puma. The rule says that the president and the secretary are the people to sign any kit contract on behalf of the board. That was what the former president, Solomon Ogba did in his time. We won’t take this.”

Also speaking yesterday, another board member, Brown Ebewele said: “You can’t go into a kit contract with Puma without the consent of the board. We read on pages of newspaper that the AFN signed a four-year deal with Puma. I made some enquiries and discovered that someone on the AFN board used his personal company to enter the deal with Puma. When did AFN become a personal property of some individuals? That is criminal.

“Now that a new secretary has been appointed for the AFN, I expect him to call a meeting soon so that we can table the issue at board level. The secretariat will have to furnish us the details of the contract and explain why we only read about it on the pages of newspaper,” Ebewele stated.Efforts to speak with the AFN president Ibrahim Gusau yesterday were unsuccessful.

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