Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz slams Nike over World Cup boots snub

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz slams Nike over World Cup boots snub

"U.S. sanctions mean that, as a USA company, Nike can not supply shoes to players in the Iranian national team at this time", the company said in a statement obtained by the news outlet.

Citing the Trump administration's withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, the sportswear company said it can no longer legally provide Iran with equipment.

Although similar sanctions were in place at the 2014 World Cup, Nike had no issues supplying the team in Brazil.

Nike, who was set to sponsor the team with cleats and footwear throughout the tournament, announced that it had withdrawn its support of the team for the World Cup because of global economic sanctions against the country.

"US sanctions mean that, as a USA company, Nike can not supply shoes to players in the Iranian National team at this time", a statement from Nike read. Everybody is aware about the sanctions.

Iran has also requested Federation Internationale de Football Association to address the matter as the team prepares to play its first game against Morocco on June 15 in St. Petersburg.

"They should come out and apologise because this arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary", 65-year-old Queiroz said.

Iran plays its first game in this year's World Cup on Friday.

Queiroz's side also face Spain and Portugal in the first phase.

With little time to react, Iran's players have taken varying steps to make sure they will be equipped to play: some have asked non-Iranian players on their club teams to loan them boots, according to one team official, while others have had friends acquire them or simply gone out and bought their own footwear at stores. Those sanctions include penalties for companies that do business with Iran. "It will be a matter of making the most of any chances we get".

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