Iranian Football Team in Row With Nike Amid US Sanctions, Asks for Apology

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The Iranian football team was left last minute to figure out their footwear dilemma after the firm Nike said they could not supply the players with boots for the World Cup.

Iran’s football coach Carlos Queiroz has slammed Nike over the rejection of the firm to supply his team with footwear for the opening match against Morocco on Friday.

"US sanctions mean that, as a US company, Nike cannot provide shoes to players in the Iranian national team at this time," Nike said in a statement as quoted by ESPN. "Sanctions applicable to Nike have been in place for many years and are enforceable by law."

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The statement caused frustration in the Iranian Football Federation as the firm had previously supplied the Iranian team with boots despite the sanctions, like at the 2014 World Cup.

Nike will be providing the shoes for 60 percent of the World Cup players during the World Cup which starts on June 14.

Queiroz told Sky Sports that in his opinion Nike’s comment was unnecessary as everybody is aware of the sanctions.

"They should come out and apologize because this arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary,” Queiroz said.

Nike’s decision was based on Trump's call to withdraw from the joint agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The official sanctions against Iran are set to kick in less than six months from the president’s decision on May 8 to withdraw from the agreement.

It was reported that the US Department of the Treasury, which is accountable for implementing financial sanctions on Iran, can charge a person who violates the sanctions with criminal penalties of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison, according to the Department's website.

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