The Nigeria Football Federation on Thursday unveiled the jerseys to be worn by the Super Eagles during the World Cup in Brazil in June.
The new home Jersey is a mixture of two different shades of green: forest green applied to the side of the jersey; and the bright green, which appears on the main body of the kit, aside the arm and the sides. The away jersey is a dominant white colour.
The choice of bright green as the dominant colour of the home jersey was a major side-talk at the event as some officials and sport fans accused the football federation of pandering to the whims of a telecommunication firm, Globacom, at the expense of Nigeria’s national colour.
Lime green is the official colour of Globacom while forest green is the Nigerian official colour, which along with white, is the colour on Nigeria’s flag.
The speculation was fuelled because Globacom is the major sponsor of football in Nigeria, including the Super Eagles, the supporters club, and the Nigerian Professional Football League.
NFF officials who spoke off record for fear of victimization accused the football federation of sacrificing Nigeria’s image for a private company.
“When they brought it to my office I didn’t say much, but reserved my comment for Nigerians to decide,” a top official of the federation said. “All I said was this is a ‘Globacom jersey’ and I don’t think the colour is a good one.”
A sports journalist at the event also condemned the position.
“Why would the NFF force Globacom’s colour on Nigerians,” the journalist, who sought anonymity for fear of victimization by his employers, said. “This is totally unacceptable. They decided to choose that lime green just because of the telecommunications company and unfortunately the Sports Ministry didn’t say a word, not even a reaction to it, it is a big slap on the country.”
The sports ministry also clarified that the chosen colour was bright green and not lime green.
Speaking at the event, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission said the idea is a deliberate one, and is an attempt to rebrand the Super Eagles.
Also, the Head of Marketing of the NFF, Idris Adama, said the federation was only rebranding the Eagle’s jersey.
“Adidas has made sure that the jersey fits into all-weather as the Brazilian weather is known for changing and also as the team will be playing in different states,” he said.
The General Secretary of the NFF, Musa Amadu, also defended the choice of colour.
“The concept of jerseys doesn’t necessarily means that you must entirely wear a national colour,” he said. “There’s our national colour of green behind and also the white.”
“Apart from the intense green, it is a young vibrant colour. We did a balance between tradition and innovation, that is the concept of the jersey, Adidas has been producing jerseys for many years, so they can’t go wrong,” he added.
Talking about the life span of the jersey, the NFF scribe also said it depends on the public’s acceptance.
“It depends on the appeal to the public. They are looking at using it for about two years,” he said.
The jersey will be unveiled to the public and football fans on March 5 during a pre-world cup friendly match in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, against Mexico.