Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz slams Nike over World Cup boots snub

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz slams Nike over World Cup boots snub

MOSCOW, Iran's national soccer coach Carlos Queiroz said they are completely ready to meet Morocco at the 2018 World Cup, Tehran Times daily reported on Wednesday.

"U.S. sanctions mean that, as a US company, Nike can not supply shoes to players in the Iranian national team at this time", Nike said in a statement, according to ESPN.

Iran plays its first game in this year's World Cup on Friday.

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.

Victoria Coates, special assistant to President Trump, on President Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, Trump's handling of North Korea and the confirmation hearings for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel. The U.S. Treasury can impose a penalty of up to US$1 million and 20 years in prison against any company or person who violates the sanctions.

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An ESPN report from Moscow said the Nike decision had left Iranian football officials baffled, noting that the USA company had supplied the team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when similar sanctions were in effect. "This last comment of Nike was, in my personal view, an unnecessary statement".

"It has been a source of inspiration for us", Queiroz told Sky Sports News.

With little time to react, Iran's players have taken varying steps to make sure they will be equipped to play: some have asked non-Iranian players on their club teams to loan them boots, according to one team official, while others have had friends acquire them or simply gone out and bought their own footwear at stores.

Queiroz has also managed Real Madrid, worked under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, as well as coaching the national side from his native Portugal.

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