NFF in talks with Mikel, Moses’ agents over image rights

 Pius Ayinor

The agents of Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi and Victor Moses have drawn the attention of the Nigeria Football Federation to the World Cup 2018 deal the NFF made with Coca-Cola stating their players have individual sponsorship deals with rival Pepsi.

The agents have written to the NFF complaining of brand infringement on their clients as a result of the Coca-Cola sponsorship.

The complaints are similar to the issues raised by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah with the Egyptian FA. The run to the 2018 World Cup for Egypt made the wrong headlines last month when their star player Mohammed Salah and the Football Federation had disagreement over image rights. The Egyptian FA had used the face of the Liverpool super star to design their official aircraft to Russia 2018 but the player’s agent raised objection as he insisted that the right Salah’s face image had been snapped up by telco.

However, a top source at the NFF said yesterday that the matter raised by representatives of both Mikel and Moses was being looked into with the hope that it will not affect the relationships the various parties have with their sponsors.

“Yes, we (the NFF officials) have been contacted by the agents of Mikel and Moses on the Coca-Cola deal.

“They have stated that their clients have deals with another soft drink company. But it’s nothing for Nigerians to get worried over as the matter is being sorted out.

“We have made the initial response and all sides are talking and I believe it won’t cause us any distractions,” stressed the NFF official who refused to be named in print last night.

Extrasportsnigeria.com gathered that Mikel’s agent appears to understand the matter better and willing to concede so long as his client is not to be made to endorse the rival soft drink brand as part of his duty as captain of the Super Eagles.

“No, it won’t get to that. We understand the position of the players and their individual image rights. Players are allowed to have personal endorsements on their choice of boots and gloves in the case of goalkeepers but other area such as kits, equipment and accommodation are taken as group right with clubs or the federations,” stressed the NFF official conversant with players’ image rights at both club and country levels.