Queiroz slams Nike over World Cup boots

Rex Christensen
June 13, 2018

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

Nike will no longer supply the Iranian national soccer team with footwear for this month's World Cup, citing the Trump administration's decision to reimpose economic sanctions on the country.

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

"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.

The backdrop to the development is the Trump administration's recent decision to withdraw from the global nuclear deal made three years ago, and to intensify the restrictions against Iran.

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

Nike's use of the sanctions to justify its decision has raised concerns because in 2014, when economic sanctions were in place against Iran, the national team wore Nike cleats during the World Cup games. "We respect them a lot and I am sure they respect us a lot too", Queiroz told reporters at BaBakovkaamp in Russian Federation.

"They should come out and apologise because this arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary". Those sanctions include penalties for companies that do business with Iran.

The head coach of Iran's national team, Carlos Queiroz, told reporters "players get used to their sports equipment, and it's not right to change them a week before such important matches".

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. Team Melli, as they are known, will also face Spain and Portugal as they try to advance out of Group B.

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