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20.08.2004 Sports News

THE Meteors and the Nike jersey

By Ekow Omagbemi Arthur

It's sad to know that the Ghana Football Association is still struggling to get a kit sponsorship deal for the National teams.

The Athens games is already underway and the participating countries in the soccer competition except the Black Meteors of Ghana who were crashed out yesterday were well kitted by sports kit companies.

I am really confused when I see a soccer nation like Ghana still struggling to get a sports manufacturing company to kit our national teams.

At a tournament like the Olympic Games it is interesting to see Ghana mixing up sports manufacturing logos.

In our first game against the Italians I was glad when I saw Ghana in their traditional yellow jersey with the Nike logo boldly embossed on their shoulders but one thing that was missing was the GFA logo on the jersey.

Before the tournament I was wondering which sports manufacturing company was going to kit the Meteors because for sometime now the National teams have been wearing all sorts of apparels with different sports manufacturing logos.

I was excited when I saw our boys in a Nike jersey and praised the GFA for settling on Nike but one question I asked myself was when did the GFA signed a contract with Nike to kit our Black Meteors.

With the jersey the Meteors were wearing I was again tempted to ask myself how come the Meteors had a different design of apparel from the latest Nike designs we have on the market for the various national teams.

The was one thing most Ghanaians missed with the Meteors Nike apparel and if I may ask has Nike and Kappa merged as one sports manufacturing company? I know you will be wondering why this question.

My reason for asking this is how come the players and the goalkeeper appeared in different sports manufacturing logos in their game against the Italians. Whilst the players had a Nike logo embossed on their shoulders, the goalkeeper George Owu had a Kappa logo on his jersey.

It is really embarrassing and I guess the football authorities must bow their heads in shame for misleading Ghanaians with the Nike jersey the boys wore against Italy.

I don't know what it takes to get a sports kit manufacturing company to kit our national teams. Even if it takes a quarter of the country rich resources to do that the GFA must go for it. After the Adidas deal fell through before the 2000 nations cup the FA has not been able to get any deal for the nation.

After the Black Stars game against the Stallions of Burkina Faso some weeks back the GFA chairman Dr Nyaho Tamakloe told the nation that the GFA is negotiating with a French Sports Company ,Le Coq Sportif to see if they could get the best possible deal for the nation. It's been weeks now and Ghanaians want to know if whether that talk had hit a bad patch.

It is pathetic to hear that Le Coq Sportif bailed the Black Stars by giving the Stars two samples of their apparels for the match against the Stallions of Burkina Faso.

Countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Rwanda and Benin have all got kit sponsorship deals and I don't know what is stopping the GFA from getting what they term a good deal for Ghana.

The Ben Kwofie Administration failed to strike any deal for Ghana after three years in office. At a time of preparing to leave office the then FA chairman was on the verge of signing a deal with Beliston another French Sports manufacturing company to kit our national teams.

With Baliston not well known on the market the then FA capo tried convincing Ghanaians that the French sports manufacturing company clothes AC Milan and were once sponsors of Algeria . I don't have anything against Ghana going to France to look for kit sponsorship for the nation but I keep asking why France and this unknown manufacturing companies to kit our national teams Once upon a time it was Baliston and now Le Coq Sportif.

The GFA should spare Ghanaians and go out the to the big manufacturing companies like Nike, Lotto, Adidas and the likes and talk business with them.

I know the GFA are looking for deal where the kit company will kit the team, pay winning bonuses, and raise money for the national team and that is by way of organising International matches and the sale of replica jerseys.

We shouldn't forget we have a Football Association where they are not in a position to organise International matches for our national teams. Don't forget as part of Barreto's contract he has been tasked to organise International matches for the national team.

The GFA must put hands on deck and strike the best possible kit sponsorship deal for the nation

The last apparel agreement the GFA went into was with Italian sports manufactures L – Sporto which ended in a fiasco after the kit manufactures were unable to deliver the kits on the appointed time.

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