To be honest, I had to read this two or three times before it really began to sink in. However, it is reported at numerous outlets and has even been confirmed by an Egyptian athlete who is in London for the Olympic Games.
Yes, Egypt supplied its athletes with fake “Nike” kits for the Olympic Games.
That almost defies belief, doesn’t it? How did this happen?
Dangers of Outsourcing
Outsourcing operations is always a dangerous game. Whether it is security, as has been seen in the United Kingdom over the past few weeks, or the production of sports kit, there is a lot to be said for getting the job done yourself in house. Cut out the middleman, so to speak, and you will save yourself a lot of time, money, and ultimately embarrassment when it comes to the crunch.
That seems to have been the problem that has afflicted Egypt in this case. Although the name of the provider has not yet been released, what we do know is that they were asked to provide athletes training and performance wear, as well as relaxed kit for wearing around the athlete’s village.
Fake tracksuits and the like is perhaps what you would expect to see in Egypt if you were visiting a market in downtown Cairo. No doubt in there are a number of garments adorned with “Mike” or have a backwards “swoosh.” On this occasion, the first offending garment that was noticed was a bag with an Adidas zipper but with a Nike swoosh printed on it. Whether the bag was actually an Adidas bag, or this was just a brave attempt to appear a competent supplier of numerous sports brands, only they actually know.
In the short term, many athletes have paid out for their own, genuine pieces of kit, at a price of around £200.
Unsurprisingly for such an iconic global brand, Nike are unimpressed, especially as they have a licensed supplier in operation in Egypt, and at no point were they approached regarding the supply of kit. Again, to no surprise, the Egyptian Olympic Committee have remained silent on the issue, although they may need to make amends quickly: if they cannot afford genuine kit then a lawsuit from a powerful brand is unlikely to do them any financial good, either.
This is perhaps one of the funniest, yet shocking stories already to emerge, and the Olympic Games have not even started yet!
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