As Nigeria's Super Eagles prepare for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations next month, there are rumours that they'll be donning brand new kits for the tournament. Over the past couple of days, fans have shared their excitement about the kits on social media platforms.
However, the Nigeria Football Federation have confirmed that the kits are in fact, fan-made. On Friday afternoon, the NFF issued a statement on their official social media handles: “Rumours about a new jersey launch between NIKE and the senior Men's National team circulating round social media has been brought to our notice. We want to inform the general public that this claim is not true. At the moment, we have no jersey being launched for the Super Eagles for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to hold in Côte d'Ivoire next month.”
While not yet confirmed, it is believed that the viral kits were designed by Nigerian sportswear and graphic designer, Victor Nwokolo, who has created several other pieces for other countries.
It's important to note that NIKE have been the Super Eagles' kit manufacturers since 2015. They designed the magnificent jerseys Nigeria used at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which sold out shortly after release.
Super Eagles and Nike – A perfect combination?
Between 2002 and 2014, Adidas produced outfits for Nigeria's men's national team. However, the German company parted ways with the Super Eagles in December 2014, stating a breach of contract. This wasn't particularly great news for the NFF, as their deal with Adidas was valued at $7m.
For a few months, Amaju Pinnick, who was the NFF president at the time, struggled to find a suitable replacement. He was allegedly rejected by companies like Puma, before Nike agreed to a deal in April 2015.
It wasn't without a lot of effort, as Pinnick had to seek out help from ex-Super Eagles players like Jay Jay Okocha, who had worked with Nike in the past. This turned out to be a great deal for both parties, as the Super Eagles' 2018 world cup outfits were undoubtedly the most sought-after in the tournament.
We would like to point out that Nigeria's 2018 FIFA World Cup jerseys broke sales records, as Nike received over 3 million pre-orders, and the kits were sold out a few minutes after they were released. As a matter of fact, hundreds of fans queued outside Nike's store in London just so they could purchase those jerseys. Nike's deal with the NFF will last till the end of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.