England players want Nigeria’s shirts


It seems Nigeria’s 2018 World Cup kit is not only a hit among fans – opposition players are also lining up to get their hands on the jersey.

The Super Eagles wore the new Nike kit in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to England at Wembley Stadium, and a Nigeria team official told KweséESPN that several Three Lions players requested and exchanged shirts with the visitors after the game.

Defender William Troost-Ekong was one of those who gave up his shirt, exchanging it with former Tottenham Hotspur academy mate Harry Kane, while Ahmed Musa swapped shirts with Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy.

Nigeria’s kit has been in huge demand since it was launched in February. When retail sales opened on June 1, the shirts quickly sold out as fans queued for over two hours in London to purchase them.

In Nigeria, despite a flood of counterfeit shirts having been in the market for at least a month, and the originals being priced at over N30 000 (almost double the country’s minimum wage), the shirts have flown off the shelves and demand continues unabated.

Midfielder Ogenyi Onazi tells KweséESPN that he tried to order some for friends and family, but he hit a roadblock: “I wanted to buy for my family and friends that morning, but they said it was out of stock.

Arsenal star Alex Iwobi was just as surprised: “I heard from some of my friends that they tried to buy some but couldn’t find it. I don’t know if that’s good or bad for us.”

The designs will ignite memories of the patterned Adidas jersey the Super Eagles wore at the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia and their first World Cup in the United States of America that same year.

What appears to be the away kit has the shirt in predominantly light green background with bold white V-shaped patterns drawn on it. The sleeves are white underneath black patterns. The shorts are plain white.

The Super Eagles wore Adidas jerseys at the last World Cup but the kit makers and the Nigeria Football Federation severed their relationship soon after.

Iwobi as well as Lateef Omodiji and his sister Sophia, who are yet to feature for Nigeria at any age-grade level, were the Nigerian players at the ceremony who modeled in the new Super Eagles jerseys.

The Eagles are expected to launch these kits on March 23 when they face fellow World Cup finalists Poland in a pre-World Cup friendly.

Four days later, the Eagles will also wear the new kits for another World Cup warm-up game against Serbia in London.

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