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

13 June 2018

But Queiroz, whose Iran side play Morocco in their opening World Cup game on Friday, has hit out at the American sportswear company, claiming they should apologise for their "arrogant conduct".

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 US sanctions.

"U.S. sanctions mean that, as a US company, Nike can not supply shoes to players in the Iranian national team at this time", the company said in a statement obtained by the news outlet.

Nike's decision came weeks after President Donald Trump said his administration would withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, which had been in place since 2015 and included Britain, Germany and France.

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

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. "This last comment of Nike was, in my personal view, an unnecessary statement. We respect them a lot and I am sure they respect us a lot too", Queiroz told reporters at BaBakovkaamp in Russian Federation. Those sanctions include penalties for companies that do business with Iran.

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.

Iran's coach Carlos Queiroz said, "Players get used to their sports equipment, and it's not right to change them a week before such important matches".

Some of Iran's players are understood to have asked non-Iranian players from their club teams to loan them boots, while others are said to have acquired them from friends or gone out to buy their own footwear in the shops.

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