Nike Nixes Iran World Cup Squad’s Supply Of Boots Over Sanctions
The Iranian regime is facing numerous significant challenges in the wake of the U.S.’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal, a reality that is apparently beginning to have a trickle-down effect: that is, right down to the feet of members of the Iranian national football squad. With just days until their World Cup opening match, Iranian athletes are scrambling to settle their footwear situation after Nike made a last-minute decision to not supply the team with boots because of economic sanctions. In a statement, the corporate giant wrote that, “U.S. sanctions mean that, as a U.S. company, Nike cannot supply shoes to players in the Iranian national team at this time.” The move shocked Iranian footballers given that Nike supplied them with footwear for the 2014 World Cup despite nearly identical sanctions having been in place. Sanctions on Iran were, however, for the most lifted as part of the 2015 atomic agreement, but President Trump re-imposed them following his move this past May to nix the accord. Iran’s coach, Carlos Queiroz, expressed outrage, explaining that “players get used to their sports equipment and it’s not right to change them a week before such important matches.” With few other options, members of the national team reportedly have either asked non-Iranians on their club teams to loan them shoes, or, more practically, have made trips to the mall.