Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

Zambia: Nike Rejects 'Fake' Zambia Soccer Replica

A scandal in the Zambian Football Association is brewing following revelations that the recently unveiled new sports kit for Chipolopolo supporters is a counterfeit not sanctioned by big time manufacturers, Nike.

A local soccer website, bolazambia.com, is reporting that Nike has dimmed the strip officially unveiled to the public by the soccer association's spokesperson Erick Mwanza as fake.

An official in the FAZ management committee, Pivoty Simwanza, is being linked to the reports of allegedly manufacturing of a fake product that is being sold to Chipolopolo supporters for US $30.

Nike says it produces official replica merchandise for Zambian supporters and that these were available to retailers in the country.

However, the world sports kit suppliers is expressing surprise about the jersey officially unveiled in Zambia and will institute investigations in the matter.

Reports allege that officials in the FAZ management committee will pocket over US $1.8 million from the sell of product.

"We are currently reaching out to FAZ to determine the rationale behind the shirt in the image being held up by two FAZ representatives at the press conference.

"From reading the articles and trying to establish facts, my thoughts are that they were showing the media what the counterfeit product looks like.

"We are also checking if any of the legitimate retailers are selling authentic product in store," a Nike South Africa official, Seruscka Naidoo, is quoted as saying regarding the allegedly fake product.

Zambia are the defending African Cup of Nations champions and start the defence of the crown on Monday in Group C against Ethiopia. The main tournament starts on Saturday, January 19.

According to South African officials, Zambians are among the leading supporters buying tickets for the competition. This means that any product relating to Zambia is on high demand.

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