Nike won't supply Iranian national soccer team with shoes, citing United States sanctions

Nike won't supply Iranian national soccer team with shoes, citing United States sanctions

With just days until their opening match against Morocco, the Iranian players are scrambling to settle their footwear situation after Nike, which had previously supplied the team with boots, said it would not do so for this tournament because of global economic sanctions against the Asian country.

In May, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal that his country and others had with Iran.

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.

Iranians have now taken to social media to express their displeasure at Nike's decision, initiating a hashtag "No to Nike". Iranian footballers were commended for their performance in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where it gave tough time to the Argentine team in a group match.

Queiroz told Sky Sports that in his opinion Nike's comment was unnecessary as everybody is aware of the sanctions. "However, we can not change our goals or let our supporters down", said Queiroz, who was assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson when Manchester United won the UEFA Champions League in 2008.

The episode is the latest stumbling block in what has been a turbulent build-up to Iran's World Cup campaign, with the team having both their warm-up friendlies against Greece and Kosovo cancelled.

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He said he would reinstate crippling sanctions on the Iranian economy that had been waived when the 2015 deal was struck between Iran and five world powers in July 2015. "Players get used to their sports equipment, and it's not right to change them a week before such important matches", he said.

However, the company says it can not do so for the tournament in Russian Federation because of sanctions against Iran.

But Queiroz's charges will likely have to resort to defensive, counter-attacking football if they are to get a result against the European powerhouses.

The announcement on Wednesday came the day before the World Cup kicks off in Russian Federation. FIFA had objected to the Persian cheetah national symbol on the players' jerseys as it did not meet the football governing body's specifications.

Carlos Queiroz is a conservative manager and Team Melli kept clean sheets in 12 of their 13 World Cup qualifying matches.

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