The Super Eagles kit for this summer's World Cup tournament, Russia 2018, was yesterday's afternoon unveiled at the premises of PrintWorks, Canada Water, by Arsenal's Alex Iwobi, who wore no 18.
Iwobi, who made two appearances on the podium in the company of models, looked calm as the "Nigerian collective," was introduced to the local and international media.
In attendance at the ceremony were the trio of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) Chairman, Amaju Pinnick, Secretary General, Salisu Mohammed and the vice- chairman, Shehu Dikko.
The Guardian sought the views of the secretary on the event, but he declined comment, saying he doesn't "want to breach protocols as the chairman and the vice are here. I can only speak if they're not here."
While Pinnick hurriedly left the venue, saying he was going to Zurich for a meeting, Dikko didn't utter a word as at the time of this report. Later the kit designer, Nike Football shared a video on their official YouTube channel, which reveals several of the national team's key men catching a first glimpse of the team's new attire.
In the one minute 20 seconds clip, Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel, Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho are shown giving their verdict on what is a dazzling offering from Nike."I can see the players going crazy over this one," Mikel said when he was shown the national side's home shirt, in Nigeria's famous dark green with an eye-catching neon logo.
The away kit, a neon and white retro design on the body, and dark green chevrons on a white background on the arms, received a more muted response.
"This is different, you know," Iwobi added, somewhat diplomatically, while Ndidi was a little more enthusiastic, claiming he just "couldn't wait" to get the kit on in Russia this summer.
Despite the mixed reaction, the kit's similarity to the iconic shirts worn by the nation's Golden Generation in their maiden World Cup campaign in the United States in 1994 should earn it major points for nostalgia among Super Eagles supporters."A constant in Nigeria is an endearing love of football," Pinnick told Nike's official website.
"When football is on, everything stops. The new Nike kit designs honour our federation's rich traditions. Moreover, they celebrate everything we relish about our culture."Also commenting on the new kits, Nike Football Design Director, Dan Farron said, "With Nigeria, we wanted to tap into the attitude of the nation. We built this kit and collection based on the players' full identities.
"We started to see trends in attitude and energy connecting the athletes to music, fashion and more. They are part of a resoundingly cool culture."Nigeria is using Nike as its kit manufacturer after having been fitted by Adidas in its last two World Cup campaigns - in 2010 and 2014.The Super Eagles will wear the shirts for the first time on March 23 when they face Poland in a friendly in Warsaw.Nigeria is pitted against Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in World Cup Group D.