Puma keeps its strong football commitment in Africa. Being the official kit supplier of Algeria, Ivory-Coast, Ghana and Egypt, Puma extended a long term partnership with their flagship Federation Cameroon. Puma also partners key African players such as the iconic Samuel Eto’o, Stephane M’bia, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Landry Nguemo to name a few.
On December 1st, Puma and the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) agreed to extend their partnership started in 1996. According to Puma, this agreement is effective through the next FIFA World Cups. Puma will continue to provide the Indomitable Lions teams with training apparel, accessories, hardware, footwear collections, and obviously all this in replica merchandise.
Puma and the Cameroon Federation have always provided the market cutting edge inovations and creative football gear ideas. During the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Eto’o and mates wore a sleeveless kit which was never been worn by any football team before. Unfortunatly, that kit could not have been worn for the Japan-Korea World Cup, as per FIFA rules, a football jersey must feature sleeves (where the hell will the badges be applied on??).
Puma then introduced the first “All in one kit UniQT” for the 2004 African Cup of Nations. The top of the kit is skin-tight with hidden zipper closures on top of each shoulder. An elastic waistband marks the transition from the form fitted top to a looser slim fitting short. PUMA used the new ‘short-cut silhouette’ where the shorts are comparatively shorter at the front than the back. The drop tail pattern helps to minimise discomfort and removes excess friction and obstruction while running and kicking.
Guess what? FIFA raised its disapproval of the kit. According to the FIFA rules, (law 4) the kit was not inline with FIFA kit regulations. FIFA ruled out the Puma UniQT.
Law 4 states:
“The basic compulsory equipment of a player comprises the following separate items:
– a jersey or shirt with sleeves – if undergarments are worn, the colour of the sleeve must be the same main colour as the sleeve of the jersey or shirt
– shorts – if undershorts are worn, they must be of the same main colour as the shorts
The case got into huge proportions, and the Cameroon Federation got fined. According to speculations, supposedly, Puma paid the fine…..but again, these are speculations. Puma came back with this quite amusing and self explanatory advert:
Then, in 2010 Puma launched the Puma Africa Unity Kit. The aim was a strategic partnership to support biodiversity worldwide and specific initiatives in Africa jointly with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). Cameroon used that kit as a 3rd kit at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, so did Ghana, Ivory-Coast and Algeria.
Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of Puma said: “We are very happy to announce the continuation of our partnership with the Cameroon Football Federation. During the fourteen years we have worked with them, their forward thinking has allowed us to undertake and execute several exciting and innovative projects that simply would not be possible with other federations. They are one of our key partners in World football, and we have some great ideas that we look forward to unveiling in the coming months and years.”
President of FECAFOOT, Iya Mohammed added: “PUMA is a key partner for us, and when the previous agreement concluded there was never any question that we wouldn’t re-sign with them. PUMA understands implicitly what we want to achieve, and it is a privilege to work with a company with the same values and ambition. We look forward to working with them for many years to follow.”
In keeping with Puma’s mission to be the most sustainable sportslifestyle brand, the Cameroon Football Federation will take a carbon neutral stance for the entirety of the partnership. Using UNEP’s carbon neutral standard, PUMA and the Cameroon Football Federation will offset the carbon footprint of the Federation through the next FIFA World Cups.
Puma will continue to be involved in numerous grassroots projects on the African continent. Puma reported that coinciding with this announcement, 10.000 durable footballs were delivered to Africa following a joint pledge in collaboration with Intersport earlier this year, a third of which will go to football projects in Cameroon. Puma was also the official sponsor and fanwear supplier of the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola.