Almost all teams participating in the 2012 London Olympics all received sponsorship of sporting goods, or signed a formal sponsorship agreement with the company. However the Egyptian team did not. Egyptian Olympic Committee Chairman General Mahmoud Ahmed Ali admitted that the Egyptian athletes’ Nike clothing and backpacks are all fake. These Shanzhai products have Nike logos but with Adidas zippers.
Egyptian Olympic Committee’s chairman General Mahmoud Ahmed Ali said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, “We bought the clothing from a Nike agent, All Nike products in the Egyptian Market are made in China. They all have the same logo. How can you tell? It’s like you received counterfeit currency, this is not what you can control."
Speaking of the cause of this incident, it had to be traced back to June of this year. At that time, including Reebok, Puma there were six sports brands participated in the Egyptian team gear bidding. “At the time, one of the bidders was willing to provide us with half as much discounted price, the company claimed to be a Nike Agent. We did not know if they were really an authorized seller. To be cautious, we sent bidder’s samples to Olympic Organizing Committee, hoping they could able to identify the genuineness of the clothing.” An Egypt’s Olympic team spokesman said, “But 10 days later, we did not receive any responds. If wasn’t for two athletes requested to change their sizes, we still would not have discovered these clothing were fake. At that time, we realized that we have been cheated.”
Even though the manufacture who is responsible for producing these gears have already contacted the Egyptian Olympic Committee, hoping to resolve the fake sportswear issue, far away in London, the Egyptian athletes are already wandering in the various venues in these knockoff Nikes.
According to reports, after knowing the Egyptian team members are wearing fake Nike gears, Nike said in a statement, “We are highly concerned about this, what those athletes are wearing simply did not meet the quality standards of the authentic Nike gears.” At present Nike requested Egypt to seek immediately action, “we are currently in discussion with them and see if we can find a solution.” “As for athletes, this is humiliating; for Egypt, this is great humiliation.” Egyptian Olympic team spokesman added.
This week, the Egyptian swimmer Yomna Khallaf exposed the news on her Twitter that what she is wearing is fake Nike gears. When other teammates asked her to verify, she wrote. “Yes even our equipment are all fake. My backpack has a huge Nike sign in the front, but all the zippers are Adidas!”
Why did Egypt covet petty gain, did not even know when they were cheated by Shanzhai manufactures? Egyptian Olympic Committee Chairman General Mahmoud Ahmed Ali said, “Even if these products are fake, the quality is good enough to be considered with the current poor economic situation in Egypt. We signed an agreement with a dealer from China, but the price of real products was too expensive, each athlete will spend 300-500 USD. This is huge amount of money, especially we have 112 athletes. In addition, let’s not forget we also have coaches, managers and doctors going to London.”
To compensate their mistake, Egyptian Olympic team will send additional 2,000 Egyptian pounds to buy some genuine equipment, in order to save face. 2000 Egyptian Pounds is equivalent of only 200 pounds, don’t know what the Egyptian team can use that for…
According to Fox news, Egypt’s Olympic team gets free gear from Nike.
Egypt’s Olympic team won’t be wearing Chinese knockoffs at the London Games, after all. Nike said Friday it was donating its gear to the Egyptian athletes. The announcement came two days after the country’s Olympic committee chairman said he had gone with fakes because the real thing was just too expensive.