Nike drop Iran boot deal ahead of World Cup

Paola Ditto
Giugno 14, 2018

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

Most World Cup teams have footwear sponsors that provide players with multiple options for different weather conditions and personal comfort.

"The sanctions mean that, as a USA company, we can not provide shoes to players in the Iran national team at this time", Nike said in a statement Friday.

There is some confusion among the Iranians, however, because Nike has supplied the team with gear in the past when the country was subjected to US sanctions - including the 2014 World Cup.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz expressed frustration at the decision.

That second part has left Iranian federation members confused - and frustrated - with the timing of the decision since Nike had been supplying the team previously, including at the 2014 World Cup when similar sanctions were in place.

"It has been a source of inspiration for us", Mr Queiroz told British broadcaster Sky Sports.

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

Nike's decision came weeks after President Donald Trump said his administration would withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, which had been in place since 2015 and included Britain, Germany and France.

On Monday Quieroz said that the decision could adversely affect his team's performance in Russian Federation. However, players from Iran will need to resort to individually purchasing boots for the tournament or simply asking to borrow footwear from friends or teammates.

Iran will begin its World Cup run on Friday with a match against Morocco, followed by matches against Spain and Portugal to finish out the group stage of the tournament.

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