Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz slams Nike over World Cup boots snub

12 2018 shows Nike football shoes of Iran's forward Mehdi Taromi during a training session in Bakovka outside Moscow ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. AFP  Alexander Nemenov Nike to Withhold Iranian Soccer Team's Shoes for World Cup Over US Sanctions
Sidney Guerrero | 14 June, 2018, 07:44

According to ESPN's Sam Borden, players on the Iranian team have been left to find shoes by other means - reaching out to non-Iran players that play club ball to loan them a few pairs, or just buying their own.

The official sanctions against Iran are set to kick in less than six months from the president's decision on May 8 to withdraw from the agreement.

United States-based sport and clothing company Nike announced it will not provide cleats to Iran's national team ahead of the 2018 World Cup, scheduled to begin on June 14, citing USA sanctions.

Nike supplied the Iranian national team with soccer cleats during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, despite existing economic sanctions tied to Iran's nuclear program.

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

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 USA sanctions - including the 2014 World Cup. "This last comment of Nike was, in my personal view, an unnecessary statement".

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The Iranian soccer federation has contacted FIFA, the governing body of the World Cup, to help address the matter, ESPN reported. Everybody is aware about the sanctions.

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

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. Those sanctions include penalties for companies that do business with Iran.

The former Real Madrid coach and Manchester United assistant had already overseen them climbing from seventh to top of the Asian rankings and since the last World Cup, they have not lost a competitive game.

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

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