Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Egyptian Olympic uniforms no longer Nike knockoffs

The Egyptian Olympic Committee was the latest (and hopefully last) group to join the Great Uniform Debacle of 2012.

Egyptian Olympic uniforms no longer Nike knockoffs

The Olympic rings at the Athletes´ Village at the Olympic Park, Thursday, July 26, 2012, in London. The opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics will be held Friday, July 27. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
The Olympic rings at the Athletes' Village at the Olympic Park, Thursday, July 26, 2012, in London. The opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics will be held Friday, July 27. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) AP

The Egyptian Olympic Committee's blunder over faux uniforms is hopefully the last story in the saga we've aptly titled, "The Great Uniform Debacle of 2012."

Unlike the domestically-manufactured garment issue that so fiercely gripped our nation in recent weeks, Egypt's uniforms were pinned for a different reason: Authenticity. Or the lack thereof.

The Telegraph reported this week that the country's athletes were handed fake Nike apparel, which all 117 selected participants were required to wear in Athletes' Village. Given Egypt's tumultuous political and ensuing economic circumstances this past year, the Committee intentionally sought a foreign vendor who could produce these items at a minimal cost. The president of the EOC eventually admitted to knowing the items were fake, yet showed resistance when asked if he would eradicate the situation. Unfortunately for the athletes- who were asked to shell out 2000 EGP (approximately 329.59 USD) each to fund the outfits- they received cheap wear with a controversial and unwarranted price tag.

To aggravate the situation for the EOC, Egypt's star athletes spoke out against the faux-unis, particularly synchronized swimmer Yomna Khallaf who confirmed via Twitter, "The bags for example have big nike logo in the front and the zippers are addidas."

Talk about brand confusion! With knockoffs becoming increasingly sophisticated, one would think the vendor for this project would've at least shown consistency between the hardware and external logo. As if trademark infringement issues haven't ruffled fashion and apparel brands enough lately, Nike responded by launching its very own anti-counterfeit crusade against the EOC. In a written statement to the Committee, the sports apparel company demanded they "take immediate action." The letter from Nike was sent July 20 and it seems that the issue was not resolved until Thursday when Khallaf tweeted, "They are ordering new clothes now from Nike UK !!"

The authentic gear is set for distribution prior to the opening ceremony.

Now, let's go back to discussing Spain's crazy camouflage uniforms.

Esther Lee Philly.com
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Reach Esther at elee@philly.com.

Esther Lee Philly.com
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