Monday, 10 December, 2018

Iranian football team seeks apology from Nike amid United States sanctions

Iran's national team at a friendly match with Turkey on May 28 Iran's national team at a friendly match with Turkey on May 28
Frederick Owens | 15 June, 2018, 20:17

Nike confirmed Monday the company had stopped supplying Iran's football team with boots ahead of the World Cup due to sanctions.

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 manager Queiroz, who has been in charge of the side since 2011, has expressed disgust about his players being denied access to the footwear to which they were accustomed just a few days before their World Cup opener against Morocco.

President Donald Trump imposed tougher economic sanctions on Iran last month while also pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal.

Iran, making their fifth appearance in the World Cup finals, kick off their campaign against the Atlas Lions in St Petersburg on June 15.

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

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Queiroz's side also face Spain and Portugal in the first phase.

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.

In an attempt to clarify the situation, the Iranian soccer federation sent a letter to FIFA asking for an explanation, as well as assistance in resolving the issue. Trump said the USA would re-impose sweeping, harsh economic sanctions on Iran.

"This last comment of Nike was an unnecessary statement".

"They should come out and apologize because this arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary". "We want to get through to the second round, but that is obviously going to be a very hard task".

The announcement on Wednesday came the day before the World Cup kicks off in Russian Federation. If we had started with the Angola match, and we had won, we could have gone into the third match against Mexico (even after losing the second game against Portugal) with a chance of qualifying with a good result. There is a lack of top level talent at the backline and it'll be much more hard keeping Spain and Portugal off the score sheet than the competition Iran faced in a weak qualification group.

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