FIFA World Cup 2018: Iranian football team seeks apology from Nike amid US sanctions

Jun 14, 2018, 08:45 IST | AFP

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

FIFA World Cup 2018: Iranian football team seeks apology from Nike amid US sanctions
Carlos Queiroz, Pic/AFP

Irans football team head coach Carlos Queiroz has slammed Nike over the refusal of the firm to supply his team with footwear for the FIFA World Cup's 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. "Sanctions applicable to Nike have been in place for many years and are enforceable by law."

Nike's decision was based on US President Donald 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. Nike's 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, reports Sputnik news agency.

Nike will be providing the shoes for 60 per cent 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 apologise because this arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary," 65-year-old Queiroz said.

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