Iran manager Carlos Queiroz has criticised Nike after the US sports manufacturing giants refused to supply the team with boots due to sanctions imposed on Iran by US President Donald Trump.
According to VOA Persian, Nike said its refusal to provide Iranian players with boots at Russia 2018 was down to the White House’s decision to re-impose US sanctions on Iran as part of its exit from the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Players get used to their sports equipment, and it’s not right to change them a week before such important matches,” Queiroz said at a training session outside Moscow. “We call on FIFA to come to our help in this issue.”
Nike had previously said in a statement: “The sanctions [from the White House] mean that, as a US company, we cannot provide shoes to players in the Iran national team at this time,” rferl.org reported.
Team Melli’s shirts are provided by Adidas, the German company considered the main rival to Nike. Players are permitted footwear made by any sporting brand, but now Iranian players sponsored by Nike will not be allowed to don the boots because of the ban.
They include Swedish-born Iran striker Saman Ghoddos. The Ostersunds FK player is sponsored by Nike, but will be forced to wear a different brand.
Iran were the first nation to arrive in Russia for the World Cup on Tuesday, landing at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport to begin their Russia 2018 preparations. The team arrived with Rubin Kazan player Sardar Azmoun, dubbed ‘The Iranian Messi’, and will be based at the Lokomotiv Bakovka Training Base on the city’s outskirts.
The team play in Kazan against 2010 World Cup winners Spain on June 20 in their second game. On Friday, Iran will play Lithuania at Spartak Stadium.