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

Nike to Withhold Iranian Soccer Team's Shoes for World Cup Over US Sanctions

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

Iran's football coach Carlos Queiroz has called on Nike to apologise to his team after the American sportswear firm said it could not supply the players with boots for the World Cup due to sanctions.

"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.

In May president Trump reimposed economic sanctions against Iran when the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal between Iran and other world powers that was signed in 2015.

An ESPN report from Moscow said the Nike decision had left Iranian football officials baffled, noting that the U.S. company had supplied the team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when similar sanctions were in effect.

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The ESPN report said Iran's players had responded to the decision by asking non-Iranian players on their club teams to loan them boots, while others had bought their own from stores.

Sports Illustrated reported most teams in the World Cup - an worldwide tournament played every four years - have a footwear sponsor.

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

Nike confirmed in a statement they are unable to provide kit to Iran due to the U.S. sanctions now in place against the country. A warm-up exhibition match with Greece was cancelled at the last minute due to political concerns and basic tasks, such as booking hotels and flights or doing anything that involves transferring money, require workarounds because of the sanctions against Iran.

Queiroz has also managed Real Madrid, worked under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, as well as coaching the national side from his native Portugal.

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