Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Sport | By

United States sanctions force Nike to drop Iran soccer shoe deal

United States sanctions force Nike to drop Iran soccer shoe deal

Nike's abrupt withdrawal of support from Iran's national soccer team just days before their opening match in the World Cup has left the team scrambling to find shoes for the tournament.

Due to USA sanctions, Nike are unable to provide Carlos Queiroz's Iran side with playing gear for the tournament in Russian Federation.

Iran's national football team has reacted with anger after Nike said it would refuse to provide players with its boots for the World Cup due to new USA sanctions.

"Sanctions applicable to Nike have been in place for many years and are enforceable by law", Nike added.

Nike announced they have been forbidden from providing football boots to Iran's squad during the tournament, on account of sanctions imposed against the country by the United States.

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. "This last comment of Nike was, in my personal view, an unnecessary statement".

Members of Iran's soccer team have resorted to asking other players to loan them footwear or individually purchasing cleats, ESPN reported. Everybody is aware about the sanctions.

That run includes 22 matches and even saw Iran as the first team to qualify for Russian Federation.

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

"Players get used to their sports equipment, and it's not right to change them a week before such important matches", ESPN quoted Queiroz as saying.

Iran head into the match against Morocco in Group B on the back of a hard build-up to the tournament overall, after friendly matches against Greece and Kosovo were also cancelled. Team Melli, as they are known, will also face Spain and Portugal as they try to advance out of Group B.

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