StarTimes, others move to end SuperSport’s monopoly on TV rights

There is palpable excitement in the sport television market following the announcement of the 2018 FIFA World Cup media rights for Sub-Saharan Africa last week. Alongside the usual suspects SuperSport, newcomers Kwese TV and StarTimes have acquired various rights to screen the 2017 Confederations Cup, the junior men’s tournaments as well as the women’s tournaments.

While SuperSport has held the African pay television market by the scruff of the neck for several years, new players Kwese and StarTimes are flexing their muscles and challenging the monopoly of the South African behemoth.

StarTimes has been puffing for a while now and saw an increase in sales of digital decoders and antennas when it won rights to the 2015 Fifa tournaments (Women’s World Cup and men’s U17 & U20) for sub-Saharan Africa.

Sport has always been a major incentive for the purchase of cable TV subscription. In the United States, ESPN continues to be the most expensive channel to watch. Unlike movies and other programing, sport is unpredictable so it draws large audiences. And because live sport is consumed as it is produced, it has a higher premium than any other kind of TV content. The 2014 World Cup had a cumulative audience of 3.2billion with 98,087 hours of broadcast (FIFA TV Audience Report).

Nigerians love live sport and regularly pack viewing centres and bars in order to watch European football. As the NTA (with average viewership of 16.7m for Brazil 2014) and other national broadcasters have become unable to compete for global sports rights, SuperSport has been the benefactor of the crave for global sport.

While StarTimes’ offering has not been up to the same quality one has come to expect of cable TV, Kwese Free Sports seems to have an ace up its sleeve. It has introduced one free English Premier League game via its mobile app every weekend and is set to expand its reach across the continent through the Confederations Cup and World Cup. From a marketing perspective, it has an opportunity to grow its brand to become an important voice in the African media market.

For advertisers, it is most likely SuperSport would remain the first option with StarTimes and Kwese Sports hoping to take a significant bite of that money. Still, the World Cup advertising market in Nigeria depends very much on the Super Eagles qualifying for Russia 2018. If they do, there would be a windfall like Brazil 2014 where brands fell over themselves to run campaigns in the frenzy of the tournament. With more broadcast rights owners, would top brands spread the money around or remain with their trusted ally?

Kwese Sports’ survival will depend on how much they are able to commercialize their new property. The next several months would confirm if our new found excitement about changes in the sport television market has been worth it.

Africa to be represented by 9 countries at the FIFA 2026 world cup

Africa will be allotted nine automatic slots at the 2026 World Cup, as part of FIFA’s proposed expansion of the tournament.

This would be an increase from the five slots that the continent is currently entitled to.

A tenth African country will take part in a six-nation playoff tournament to decide the last two spots.

“The Bureau of the FIFA Council, comprised of the FIFA President and the president of each of the six confederations, agreed on (the) proposed allocation,” the FIFA statement said.

Europe will get 16 direct slots while the Asian Football Federation will get eight direct slots.

Oceania Football Confederation will get one slot while CONCACAF and South America’s CONMEBOL are each allotted six direct slots.

Meanwhile, the host country would automatically qualify for the World Cup. Its slot would be taken from the quota of its confederation.

In the event of co-hosting, the number of host countries to qualify automatically would be decided by the FIFA council.

FIFA members voted in January to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams, starting with the 2026 edition.

Below is the proposed allocation of slots for the 2026 World Cup.


8 direct slots – increased from 4.5 


9 direct slots – increased from 5

North and Central America:

6 direct slots – increased from 3.5

South America:

6 direct slots – increased from 4.5


1 direct slot – increased from 0.5


16 direct slots – increased from 13

Final two places in 2026 to be decided by six-team playoffs.

Africa to get 4 additional slots in 48-team FIFA World Cup

FIFA president Gianni Infantino promised to come good on a promise to hike Africa’s World Cup finals berths to nine or ten during a visit to the impoverished West African state of Mauritania this week.

“We want everyone to have the right to dream and how better to do that that taking part in a major event such as a World Cup,” Infantino told a press conference.

During last year’s hotly contested FIFA elections Infantino promised African federation chiefs that if elected he would increase the continent’s meagre five World Cup berths in a new look competition featuring 48 nations rather that the current format of 32.

The expansion of the World Cup, passed by the FIFA Council in January, comes into effect for the 2026 tournament.

The Infantino proposal will feature 16 first-round groups from which winners and runners-up qualify for the knockout phase

Africa wants 10 slots at expanded FIFA World Cup

Africa will be looking to double the number of places it has at an expanded World Cup, the continent’s football association presidents have told soccer’s world governing body, FIFA.

Africa wants at least 10 spots in the 48-team World Cup that FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed from 2026 as the continent gave a ringing endorsement to the expansion plans.

“All associations back the idea to expand the World Cup and there is the hope that Africa can have 10 places in future,” South African FA chief, Danny Jordaan said yesterday.

Europe is seeking a minimum of 16 places, up from 13, and wants its sides to be separated in the 16 opening round groups of three teams, with the top two advancing to a 32-team knockout phase under plans approved by FIFA last month.

Asia are expected to get eight to nine places, compared to 4-1/2 now, and South America, which has 10 member countries, a total of six, also up from 4-1/2.

The CONCACAF region, made up of the Caribbean, Central and North American countries, would get 6-1/2 places, compared to 3-1/2, with Oceania, the small Pacific Islands confederation, having one automatic place at the finals instead of 1/2.

Inter-continental playoffs between countries with 1/2 a place would determine the additional spots at the finals. The final allocation of places must be passed by the FIFA Council.

Meanwhile, the subject of the expanded World Cup featured prominently at a three-day summit between Fifa chief Infantino and more than 50 presidents of the African FAs.

The talks were behind closed doors but FIFA officials told Reuters yesterday that Infantino had outlined plans for an expanded World Cup and new development assistance for member countries.

It is the first time a summit of this type has been held, giving Africa’s FA representatives informal contact with the Fifa leadership, including the world governing body’s recently appointed general secretary, Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura.

“It has been a very good idea and a chance for the associations to also speak directly to the Fifa leadership about their issues and concerns,” said Ahmad, the president of the Madagascar Football Federation.
Ahmad, who uses just one name, is running for the presidency of the Confederation of African Football against long-standing incumbent Issa Hayatou of Cameroon next month.

The summit comes three weeks before the CAF elections in Addis Ababa on March 16 and the Fifa event in Johannesburg has been dominated by intense lobbying, delegates said.

“Most of the business at this summit is actually outside of the conference room, in the corridors and the hotel lobby as different candidates try to persuade associations to vote for them,” said one African FA chief, who asked not to be named.


Source: SuperSport

2026 World Cup: Infantino To Push For Co-Hosting

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President, Gianni Infantino, says the 2026 World Cup could be split between up to four countries as he announced the organisation would encourage applications to co-host the tournament.

His remarks could open the way to a joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico, whom had already stated intentions to hold discussions over the possibility.

The only time FIFA has previously sanctioned co-hosting was in 2002 when Japan and South Korea staged a tournament that was widely heralded as a success.

More nations can ‘dream’ of making World Cup, says Infantino

FIFA’s decision Tuesday to expand the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026 will allow more countries to “dream” of qualifying for the globe’s top sporting event, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said.

“We have to shape the World Cup of the 21st Century… football is more than Europe and South America,” Infantino told reporters. With the new format, “many more countries will have the chance to dream.”

The 2026 tournament will include 16 groups of three teams.

Infantino insisted this was vital as there was reluctance to any prolongation of the tournament.

The new format “brings benefits without negatives,” he said.

“Every match will be decisive,” he added, noting that qualifying round matches where the result is effectively meaningless will be eliminated in 2026 and beyond.

No decision was made on how the 16 extra places would be allocated among football’s regional confederations, but “everyone will get more” in the new system, the FIFA chief further said.

Falconets crash out of U-20 World Cup despite win against Spain.

Nigerian Under-20 female football team has crashed out of the FIFA World Cup in Papua New Guinea despite their victory over Spain in their last group game.

Chinwendu Ihezuo scored the winner in Port Moresby to secure all three points for Peter Dedevbo’s ladies but it wasn’t enough to see them through as they failed to overcome the goal difference deficit.

Coming into the final Group B clash, the Falconets knew result from the other game between Japan and Canada will determine their fate as victory would give them a chance of progressing to the quarter-final.

Nigeria needed a nine-goal swing to overtake Spain in second place, but were down after seven minutes when Alba Redondo scored from a poor Falconets’ defending.

The Falconets responded five minutes later, Charity Reuben nodded down a Nigerian corner, with Ihuoma Onyebuchi finding enough space and time to fire home from inside the penalty area.

The Europeans were left to rue that their misses as Ihezuo fired home 12 minutes from time, after a defensive mix-up between Carmen Menayo and Marta Cazalla.

Japan finished as Group B winner with six points after dismissing Canada 5-0 at the National Football Stadium, Port Moresby.

Japan, Spain and Nigeria were tied on 6 points each but the Asian giants and their European counterpart moved on in the competition with a superior goal difference over the Falconets.

FIFA president, Infantino backs video replays, to push ahead with World Cup expansion.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino would like to see Video Assistant Referees (VAR) used at the 2018 World Cup — the last time he hopes the event will be played with 32 nations.

VAR has been used in Italy’s last two international friendlies, against France in September and Germany on Tuesday, and Infantino is hoping the testing and evaluation stage will soon lead to its implementation.

“We’re working on it and I believe that there will be leagues using it already from next season,” Infantino told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “[Italian FA president Carlo] Tavecchio has been excellent about it in Italy, compliments to him.”

Marcello Nicchi, the president of the Italian Referees’ Association (AIA), believes VAR could be introduced into Serie A next season.

The system nevertheless has its detractors, not least since it was used to rule out a goal scored by Kevin Volland at the San Siro on Tuesday night for an offside which even replays were unable to resolve conclusively.

The assistant referees viewing that incident decided within five seconds that the Bayer Leverkusen forward was offside, but there were many doubts, not least with La Gazzetta saying the goal should have been given since the forward was in line with his teammate who passed the ball.

“Replays, replays, come on — did you see what happened with Volland?” Infantino said. “Anybody who was worried we would be left with nothing to dispute at the bar has been served. There is always going to be something to talk about.

“Seriously, I was sceptical about it but I thought ‘let’s try it’ and now I don’t see anything negative about it. Replays don’t resolve everything because a lot of situations are open to interpretation, but it does provide the security that there will not be any serious mistakes and errors which could compromise a game.

“The flow of the game doesn’t suffer — decisions are made within three seconds. Now we just need to find a way to communicate to the fans that the decision has been taken by viewing replays.”

Infantino is also going to push ahead with his plans to expand the World Cup to 48 nations, saying it is “crucial” for the development of the game.

“Football’s future depends on this and I hope the advisory panel follows me,” he said. “Just think, there would be 16 nations automatically qualified and the other 32 would go into a playoff, which would take place a week before the start, in the same location.

“That would mean 48 nations would still be interested in the tournament in June and their hopes would not end in November already. The World Cup is a social event which changes nations and puts smiles on people’s faces. It would be the biggest ever impulse to the game’s development.”

A revamp of the FIFA Club World Cup, which is currently played in December, is also on Infantino’s agenda.

“It’s a complicated formula as it is now, played in a difficult period without much enthusiasm for it,” he said. “In summer, from June 10-30, we could have the 32 best clubs in the world. It will still come down to the players’ health as they will need time to rest, but we have [Zvonimir] Boban and [Marco] Van Basten working on a solution.”

They are not the only former stars Infantino would like working on such projects either.

“I hope so — from [Diego] Maradona to Luis Figo, I hope these people give clubs the best guarantees,” he said. “It would be a think tank on crucial issues. From now on, business comes after football because if you put business first, you destroy football.”

Nigeria wants to be at 2018 World Cup – Mikel Obi

Nigeria captain Mikel Obi has said they hope to be at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and so will give everything to extend their fine run in the qualifiers after a 2-1 win in Zambia last month.

The Super Eagles will take on Algeria at the in continuation of the World Cup qualifiers inside the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo tomorrow.

Mikel said the team appreciate the importance of this particular game and its ramifications for Nigeria’s march to a sixth FIFA World Cup finals.

“We all know what this match means, why we have to give everything,” said the 29-year-old midfielder.

“Yes, we started the race well by winning in Zambia, but we have to approach this match even more seriously.

“The Algerians will come with determination and they will play hard, but we will play harder.

“The World Cup is the biggest stage; every player wants to be there. I am happy we have such a young and energetic team.

“I played at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 but there are many of these players who have never been to the World Cup. They want to be there.”

Nigeria represented Africa at the 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, reaching the Round of 16 in 1994, 1998 and 2014.

Nigeria and Algeria were Africa’s best teams at the last World Cup finals, in Brazil, each eliminated in the Round of 16 on the same day: Nigeria fell to France and Algeria were pipped by Germany.

The rivalry between Nigeria and Algeria at senior level is one of the fiercest in African football.

Nigeria beat Algeria to win her first Africa Cup of Nations in 1980; 10 years later, Algeria beat Nigeria to win her first Cup of Nations.

Algeria beat Nigeria to qualify for her first FIFA World Cup – Spain 1982; Nigeria beat Algeria to qualify for her first FIFA World Cup – USA 1994.

The first meeting between both teams, at the All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 1973, ended 2-2.

Algeria enjoyed a three –match winning streak against Nigeria between October 1981 and March 1982, but Nigeria have won the last four confrontations between both nations.

The Super Eagles have never lost a World Cup qualifying home match outside of Lagos. And they have lost only one out of six World Cup qualifying matches played in the month of November, winning the remaining five.

The Algerians hit Uyo on Thursday evening with a delegation of 61 persons, aboard a chartered flight, and will have the official training on the pitch of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Friday evening.

They were received at the Ibom International Airport by NFF deputy general secretary, Emmanuel Ikpeme, and protocol officer, Emmanuel Ayanbunmi.

The match officials, led by Hassan Osama Atta Ibrahim El Manan (match commissioner from Sudan) slept in Lagos on Thursday, to hit Uyo on Friday.

The referee is Gambian Bakary Papa Gassama, with Jean-Claude Birumushahu (Burundi) as assistant referee 1; Marwa Range (Kenya) as assistant referee 2 and; Maudo Jallow (Gambia) as fourth official.

Jean-Olivier Mbera from Gabon will serve as referee assessor and Kenyan Nicholas Chumba Musonye will be security officer.

The match kicks off at 5pm on Saturday.


  • 8 Nov 1969: Nigeria 2 Morocco 0 (Ibadan)
  • 12 Nov 1977: Nigeria 0 Tunisia 1 (Lagos)
  • 4 Nov 1984: Liberia 0 Nigeria 1 (Monrovia)
  • 9 Nov 1996: Nigeria 2 Burkina Faso 0 (Lagos)
  • 14 Nov 2009: Kenya 2 Nigeria 3 (Nairobi)
  • 13 Nov 2013: Nigeria 2 Ethiopia 0 (Calabar)

Qatar enforce World Cup alcohol ban

Qatar could be on track to host the first dry World Cup and sadly for travelling fans it has nothing to do with the Middle Eastern country’s desert climate.

Qatari officials have banned alcohol in the streets and public places during the 2022 FIFA World Cup with their sights set on outlawing booze from inside stadiums as well.

Secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Hassan Al Thawadi made it clear that Qatar will be no place for a drink when football fans converge on the nation in 2022.

“There will be no alcohol consumption on the streets, squares and public places and that is final,” Al Thawadi said.

“Availability of alcohol during the tournament will commensurate with our customs and traditions.”

While there could still be a chance alcohol will be made available inside stadiums, Al Thawadi was adamant in the organising committee’s push for a complete alcohol ban.

“Personally I’m against the provision of alcohol in stadiums,” he said.

“The (SCDL’s) goal was to narrow (alcohol) consumption to specific places, far away from public spaces.”

Currently, alcohol is only sold in licensed hotels in Qatar.

Residents who want to drink at home must have a permit before buying alcohol at the countries only liquor store, QDC. It is an offense to consume alcohol in public or be publicly drunk.

Alcohol was sold in stadiums during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil at FIFA’s insistence after pressure from their sponsors such as brewer Budweiser.

Al Thawadi said the Qatar organising committee had not yet discussed the issues with FIFA.

We Are Under Pressure To Win Against Nigeria – Bentaleb

Algerian midfielder Nabil Bentaleb has admitted that the Fennecs are under immense pressure to deliver when they face Nigeria in their second 2018 World Cup Qualifying match in Uyo on Saturday.

The Desert Warriors were forced to a 1-1 draw at home to Cameroon in their opening fixture, and they must win against Group B leaders Nigeria in Uyo to strengthen their bid for a place in Russia.

Bentaleb who missed the opening fixture in Bilda due to suspension says it will a herculean task recording a win with five of their regular players.

The Algerian team will be without Adam Ounas, Hilal Soudani, Rachid Ghezzal and Ryad Boudebouz in the game against Nigeria.

“I must say that we are a bit under pressure because we need a good result against Nigeria. But I’m optimistic because Algeria always gives good output in difficult times,” Bentaleb told Le Buteur.

The on-loan Schalke 04, played down the timing of hiring a new coach within a qualifying series could have, with Georges Leekens replacingMilosec Rajevac after the opening fixture.

“Risky? No. It remains the choice of the president of the federation. Now, if the old coach did not have the

Nigeria’s World Cup group worse than ‘Group of Death’ – Pinnick

Nigeria’s World Cup qualifying group is worse than ‘Group of Death’ according to the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The three-time African champions will have to go past Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia to qualify for a sixth World Cup.

“Nigeria have been drawn in a group beyond ‘Group of Death’,” said NFF boss Amaju Pinnick.

“Algeria are Africa’s leading team, Cameroon have won the African Cup of Nations four times and have featured at the World Cup seven times, and Zambia have also proved themselves.”

The Eagles, under a broke NFF, will begin the final stage of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers away in Zambia on Sunday.

Both teams last clashed at AFCON 2013 hosted by South Africa and it ended in a 1-1 draw.

In November, they will welcome Algeria to Uyo in continuation of the series.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino Wants 48-Team World Cup Tournament

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has proposed expanding the World Cup finals to a 48-team tournament – a larger number than his election promise.

The Italian suggested 16 of those teams would be eliminated after one knockout match – before the group stages.

The rest of the tournament would be the same as it is now, with 32 teams competing in group stages followed by knockout rounds.

One of his election promises was to expand the finals to 40 teams.

Infantino said a decision would be taken by the governing body’s council in January.

“These are ideas to find the best solution, we will debate them this month and we will decide everything by 2017,” said the 46-year-old.

“They are ideas which we put forward to see which one is the best.”

Infantino took charge of football’s world governing body in February after the disgraced Sepp Blatter resigned.

Under his proposal, a preliminary knockout round in the host country would involve 32 teams with the winners reaching the groups, while a further 16 seeded teams would get a bye to that stage.

“It means we continue with a normal World Cup for 32 teams, but 48 teams go to the party,” he added.

“Fifa’s idea is to develop football in the whole world, and the World Cup is the biggest event there is. It’s more than a competition, it’s a social event.”

‘I Can Qualify Nigeria To World Cup, I Have The Heart Of A Winner ‘ – New Super Eagles Technical adviser Rohr says

Gernot Rohr, who was on Tuesday confirmed by the NFF as Super Eagles new technical adviser says he believes he can qualify Nigeria to the Russia 2018 World Cup and even take the country to the latter stages of the tournament.

“I am enthusiastic to get to work. This is a big challenge because Nigeria has big players everywhere and has the ability to do well internationally.

‘ he told the NFF official website. “I have a German heart – the heart of a winner,” 
“I have confidence that with the right atmosphere and the right support, the Super Eagles have the capacity not only to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, but get to the latter stages of the competition.”
NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, happy with the German’s appointment on a two year deal said;

“We are happy that this has been sealed and we can now focus on other arrangements for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers starting in October,”

Argentina, Uruguay Plan Joint Bid To Host 2030 World Cup Finals

The Presidents of Argentina and Uruguay on Friday in Montevideo said they were planning to jointly bid to host the 2030 World Cup finals.


Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez said they had agreed during their meeting in Colonia, Uruguay to mount a joint bid for the 2030 World Cup finals.


Both presidents formerly headed football clubs before entering politics.


Uruguay have only hosted the event once before, beating Argentina 4-2 in the final of the maiden edition in 1930.


Since then, they have gone on to win their second title, when they beat hosts Brazil 2-1 in the 1950 final.


On their part, Argentina have also only hosted once before, beating The Netherlands 3-1 after extra time in the 1978 final.


They then went on to add another title by winning the 1986 final in Mexico, beating the then West Germany 3-2.




Westerhof Blasts Oliseh, Says He Can’t Take Nigeria To The 2018 World Cup

Former Nigeria head coach Clemens Westerhof has said Sunday Oliseh can’t take the national team to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
Westerhof, who won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations title with the Super Eagles in Tunisia, made his stance known after Nigeria beat Swaziland 2-0 on Friday.
Following the victory, Oliseh told the press he was proud of his team, and Westerhof said it was nothing to celebrate.

“Congratulations, you beat Swaziland 2-0 in the return leg match of the preliminary round of the qualifiers,” But does that really call for celebration? Yes, there are no minnows in football but who are Swaziland to hold the Super Eagles to a goalless draw?T
he Super Eagles won 2-0 in Nigeria but is it not a game the Super Eagles should be winning 6-0, 7-0 under normal circumstances? What type of football do they play in Swaziland?
“Swaziland is not the first match Super Eagles have played under Oliseh. There has not been any difference between their first game under him and the game with Swaziland.I’m sorry, with Oliseh, the Super Eagles may not go to the World Cup in Russia,” Westerhof declared.


Go If You’re Not Happy With Our Contract, NFF Tells Keshi

Technical Committee Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation, Felix Anyansi-Agwu has criticised Stephen Keshi for saying a new deal offered him by the football authority amounted to a “slave contract”.

The 52 year old Keshi reportedly made the remarks after receiving his new contract following an eight month wait.

A debate had raged in Nigeria over whether Keshi should be given a new deal, despite new offer to the NFF and stop embarrassing the country or his potential employers in the media.


“The act of taking contractual matters to the media doesn’t show maturity and discipline from [Stephen] Keshi,” Anyansi-Agwu told BBC Sport.

“Contracts are not signed on the pages of newspapers and his objections or concerns should be addressed to the federation and not to outsiders.

“Why insult your potential employers in the media if you plan to work with them. He should stop embarrassing and insulting the country in public, it’s the reason he has a lawyer who could speak to us.”

Keshi took over in November 2011 and his initial contract with the NFF ran out after last year’s World Cup in Brazil, where Nigeria reached the second round stage.

As caretaker coach he endured a turbulent 2014, in which he was sacked by the NFF and only reinstalled after intervention from Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan.

BBC Sport understands that Keshi has now been offered a two-year contract effective from 1 March 2015 with him having to meet several targets. He is also required to sign a code of conduct, or else the deal is off.

His latest outburst has led to Anyansi-Agwu urging him to ‘walk away’ if he is not happy to share his concerns directly with the NFF.

“The whole thing should not have been blown out of proportion. It’s the NFF employing Keshi and not the other way round, so if he’s not happy he can simply ‘walk away’.

“The role is not his birth right, so he should stop acting like it’s him or no one else.

“He’s not going about it the right way. Keshi can’t employ those employing him, so if he’s not happy he should come back to us and we can look into it.

“Keshi has worked in other countries and he didn’t engage Togo and Mali in a media war, so if he has advisers then they should tell him the matured path to follow, “Anywansi-Agwu added.

Adidas Dumps Super Eagles as Team Loses $7m

Nigeria are struggling to find a kit sponsor after German manufacturers Adidas decided not to renew its deal with the Super Eagles.

In August, Adidas complained that Nigeria’s coach and some players violated contractual obligations by wearing a rival’s kit at major events. And now Nigeria have lost a deal worth $7m-a-year, which will increase the problems for the cash-strapped team. Nigeria’s Football Federation admitted finding a new sponsor is proving hard.

The Super Eagles have endured a difficult year, with problems both on and off the pitch damaging their reputation and their results.

As well as being penalised with by a global ban by Fifa for government interference in football matters, Nigeria failed to qualify to defend their Africa Cup of Nations title at next year’s finals in Equatorial Guinea. And a top official of the NFF told BBC Sport that major sportswear companies are not interested in becoming the country’s new kit supplier.

But NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire says the body is negotiating with other manufacturers or may still salvage a deal with Adidas. “We currently are in discussions with multiple parties regarding our kit situation,” Olajire told BBC Sport.

“Despite receiving a notification letter from Adidas initially, we remain confident they could still reconsider their position.”

Adidas became the country’s supplier before the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, which Nigeria won, and at their maiden appearance at the World Cup in 1994.

Nigeria switched to rivals Nike later that year then reunited with Adidas in 2004.

Credit: BBC Sports