The newly-released jerseys by American sportswear manufacturer, Nike, for the Super Eagles and the other Nigeria national football teams, are generating mixed reactions from Nigerians and others across the world.
Unlike the 2018 World Cup jersey that was unanimously acclaimed, opinions have been sharply divided this time on whether this new set of jerseys are top-notch or not.
Quite similar to the new England shirt, the Nike logo and federation badge sits centrally on the chest of Nigeria’s new 2020 home shirt. ‘Naija’ is written on the inside neck as well as the back of the socks.
Nike has explained the reason behind the design of both the home and away jerseys.
In a statement on Twitter, Nike’s senior director, Heidi Burgett, said the home jersey is a mix of an “agbada” design and modern football design. At the same time, the away kit is inspired by “onanism.”
Despite the seeming ingenuity of Nike in their new design for Nigeria, some are just displeased and they have voiced their resentment via social media.
Hit or Miss?
A fan, Shehu Achituwo, wrote on Twitter: “Pls this isn’t cool, just don’t disgrace us. From the best jersey in FIFA world cup to a faded looking second hand Jersey.”
Another user, Emmanuel CO, wrote: “The White Jersey clearly represents what the present government of Nigeria has always had… “NO SENSE…!!!
“A Secondary school pupil would have done a better job of designing any of those Jerseys…
“And your fido-dido male model didn’t help the “Look” of the Jersey at all…”
For Odemwingie Precious, the jerseys are ok but the model chosen to exhibit the new wares did not do justice to the apparel.
“The jerseys are fine but the guy wearing the white/green is why it’s not looking fine. Put the jerseys on someone else, you will see the difference,” he suggested.
A fan who seems to be Brazilian wrote: “Nigeria is trending in Brazil right now because we are loving this shirt. Nike, when are you going to do one as great as Nigeria’s one?”
On his part, the president of the Authentic Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Abayomi Ogunjimi, has expressed his satisfaction with the newly unveiled jersey for the national teams.
He said: “This is more of a Nigerian thing, it is beautiful and an improvement of what we use to have, from what I have seen, the fans are happy, and I must appreciate the Nigeria Football Federation and NIKE for giving Nigerian fans something to cherish for a long time.”
The Super Eagles are to wear the new jersey all through the 2021 AFCON qualifiers and also the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Meanwhile, it is understood that fans may have to wait for at least another five months to own one of the new jerseys officially as the kit manufacturers say they will only go on sale in July 2020.
“We (Nigeria national teams) will start to wear it (New Jerseys) in June but it will be in the shops in July. We are trying to ensure that this one is available in the stores in at least 10 cities in Nigeria too,” the Nigeria Football Federation 1st Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, explained in a radio interview.
Nigeria’s new home and away strips were presented by Nike at the brand’s event in New York, alongside the new South Korea and USA jerseys.