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Nike Seeks to Stop Iran's National Team From Using Their Cleats

13 June 2018

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With just days until their opening match against Morocco, the Iranian players are scrambling to settle their footwear situation after Nike, which had previously supplied the team with boots, said it would not do so for this tournament because of global economic sanctions against the Asian country.

"US sanctions mean that, as a United States company, Nike can not supply shoes to players in the Iranian National team at this time", Nike said.

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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.

Iran's jerseys are made by rival manufacturer Adidas, though the German company does not sponsor the team; they sold the uniforms to the Iranian federation.

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.

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There is some confusion among the Iranians, however, because Nike has supplied the team with gear in the past when the country was subjected to US sanctions - including the 2014 World Cup. "We respect them a lot and I am sure they respect us a lot too", Queiroz told reporters at BaBakovkaamp in Russian Federation.

The Iranian squad have been left scrambling to sort out footwear ahead of their opening match against Morocco on Friday. "This last comment of Nike was, in my personal view, an unnecessary statement".

Queiroz's side also face Spain and Portugal in the first phase.

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Nike Seeks to Stop Iran's National Team From Using Their Cleats