Sport

Nike Won't Supply Iran With Cleats for FIFA World Cup

Nike Won't Supply Iran With Cleats for FIFA World Cup”

The Iran head coach, Carlos Queiroz, has demanded an apology from Nike after the U.S. sportswear firm said it could not supply the players with football boots for the World Cup because of sanctions.

The decision was accompanied by new economic sanctions.

Nike added that sanctions applicable to its business "have been in place for many years and are enforceable by law".

This follows the recent decision of the Trump administration to pull out of the worldwide nuclear deal made three years ago, and to intensify restrictions on Iran.

According to the US Treasury, any US entity found in violation of sanctions could face hefty fines.

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

"We are only managers and footballers, and should not get involved in such matters".

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. Nike has previously supplied the Iranian team with boots, and did so at the 2014 World Cup when similar sanctions were in place.

Iranians have now taken to social media to express their displeasure at Nike's decision, initiating a hashtag "No to Nike". "There was a time our sportsmen were symbols of national pride".

However, some Iranians say as a private USA company, Nike had no other choice. "It is normal that it is withdrawing its supply of boots to Iran for fear of economic penalties", tweeted one user. "This is the impact of politics on trade rather than political interference in sport", said another.

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.

That last statement has caused confusion and frustration in the Iranian football federation.



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