Aiteo Group threatens to review deal with NFF over alleged poor derivatives

NFF President Amaju Pinnick (right) with Aiteo Group DMD Francis Peters

Barely five months after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) celebrated two sponsorship deals with Aiteo Group, an energy company, the oil and gas outfit is considering its options following alleged poor derivatives from the agreements.

The NFF and Aiteo Group in April signed a N2.5 billion Federation Cup sponsorship deal that will see the competition run without hitches for the next five years. The deal conferred on Aiteo Group the right as titleholder for the competition, which was promptly renamed AITEO Cup.

The parties had earlier reached an agreement that placed the responsibility of payment of national team coaches’ salaries on Aiteo Group, a move celebrated by Nigerian football enthusiasts because it was seen as the permanent solution to the NFF’s perennial inability to pay its coaches.

The FA Cup deal ensures that Aiteo underwrites the costs of the organisation of the competition, which encompasses the costs of organising the competition from the round of 64 to the men and women’s finals, solidarity support to Football Associations of the 36 States and the FCT, expenses and indemnities of match officials, support to participating clubs, media, branding/activation and prize money to winners.

On its part, the NFF is expected to provide, through different activations, visibility for the Aiteo Group, especially during the Federation Cup competition and matches of the national teams. But the oil and gas outfit allege that the NFF has not lived up to the agreements. A senior AITEO Group official told journalists last week that the company was reviewing its partnership with the NFF because it is not satisfied by the way the federation is ‘handling things.’

Pleading anonymity, the Aiteo official said: “They told us that the Aiteo Cup will be a media event, which means the competition will be widely publicized. But it is almost coming to an end and the newspapers and broadcast media seem not to know what is happening.

“We have not seen the programme for the competition. In fact, the NFF only informed us of the quarterfinals’ draws a few hours before the event. There is no plan for anything … things are not done that way. We are talking of more than N5 billion sponsorship that has been made so difficult for us to leverage on. If this NFF continued this way, we will be forced to review our relationship with them.”



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