Nike withdraws Iran World Cup squad's supply of boots due to sanctions

Nike withdraws Iran World Cup squad's supply of boots due to sanctions

USA sporting goods giant Nike confirmed Monday (Jun 11) it had stopped supplying Iran's football team with boots ahead of the World Cup due to sanctions.

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

"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.

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

The last-minute announcement has left the Iranian team scrambling to figure out which soccer cleats the players will wear for the World Cup, which begins Thursday at soccer stadiums throughout Russian Federation.

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.

It is hardly ideal though; most teams at the World Cup which do have footwear sponsors have multiple options on-hand for each player, so that a player can change his footwear depending on the weather, the field conditions or simply personal comfort, sometimes even switching in the middle of a game.

Some Iranians have spoken out against Nike's decision to adhere to them and encouraged others to boycott the company's products, using the hashtag #NoToNike on Twitter.

Nike confirmed in a statement they are unable to provide kit to Iran due to the USA sanctions now in place against the country.

Iran's first match is on Saturday against Morocco.

Queiroz's side, meanwhile, face Spain in Kazan on June 20 before meeting Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Saransk five days later.

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