Lifestyle & Belief

Fake Nike gear outfitting Egyptian Olympic athletes: report


T-shirts promoting the London Olympics go on sale in the newly opened Westfield Stratford City shopping centre adjacent to the Olympic Stadium on September 13, 2011 in London.


Oil Scarff

Nike bags are not supposed to have Adidas zippers on them.

So it's a problem that the bags provided to Egyptian athletes competing in the upcoming Olympic Games in London supposedly proudly sport both, reported Britain's The Telegraph, citing the following Tweet from Egyptian swimming competitor Yomna Khallaf: 

And it's not just the bags. The whole massively-expensive sporting ensemble provided by the Egyptian Olympic Committee (EOC) appears to be counterfeit, making for a potentially embarrassing blunder for a nation known for its fake, designer-brand-packed markets. 

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It would also work against efforts by the country to re-brand itself following a year of political turmoil. Egypt's national soccer team, competing for the first time in 20 years, is set to face off with Brazil on Thursday in Wales. 

Coach Hany Ramzy told ESPN today that the team wants to "send a message to the world" in which they "show that despite the problems in our country we are still proud to play for Egypt." 

Of course, if Egypt wins, it won't matter if the brand athletes are wearing is real or fake.

But it's hurt at least one althete's morale, with 20-year-old Khallaf saying on Twitter it was "so frustrating" that she spent the equivalent of over $300 on the gear. 

The Telegraph quoted Nike spokesman as saying the company has been "made aware" of the allegations, is "highly concerned," and has repeatedly contacted the EOC about it. No response.

The sporting apparel was provided to Egypt's 117 Olympic athletes through a vendor contracted by the EOC, said The Telegraph