FIFA World Cup 2018 hasn’t started on a happy note for the Iranian football team. Their warm-up match against Greece was cancelled at the last minute because of the political concerns and basic tasks like booking hotels and flights or doing anything that involves transferring money, require workarounds because of the sanctions. Now, Nike has decided not to supply boots to Iranian players ahead of their opening clash against Morocco.
The decision was taken following the US global economic sanction against Iran. “U.S. sanctions mean that, as a U.S. company, Nike cannot supply shoes to players in the Iranian national team at this time,” Nike statement in a statement published in ESPN.
In response, Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has sent a letter to FIFA asking for help. Queiroz said that it is a very bad move by Nike at a very crucial time when Iran will face Morocco on Friday, June 15, 2018, in Saint Petersburg Stadium, Krestovsky Island.
“Players get used to their sports equipment, and it’s not right to change them a week before such important matches,” he said.
Since the players don’t have enough time to look for an alternative supplier, they either went and bought footwear from stores or asked their Non-Iranian friends to loan their shoes.
The decision by Nike has led to an outrage among fans who have posted several videos on social media throwing boots in bins, labelling the move “an insult to [Iranian] people and all football lovers” and another claiming it made the players “symbols of humiliation”.
The US made an agreement to lift the economic sanction in order to stop Iran from making nuclear weapons. Trump argued if any company does any business with Iran, a sanction will be imposed on them.