Why Iran Players Are Not Allowed To Wear Boots Supplied By Nike In World Cup
In an extraordinary set of circumstances, it's emerged that Iran players are not allowed to wear football boots supplied by Nike in the World Cup.
The Oregon-based sportswear giant will be featured heavily in the form of kits and cleats in the showpiece in Russia, which gets underway in six days time.
However, Iran, in their fifth World Cup appearance, are not permitted to do so because of re-imposed US sanctions - that being down to the White House's decision to exit a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and several other leading countries.
"The sanctions mean that, as a U.S. company, we cannot provide shoes to players in the Iran national team at this time," read an official statement from Nike.
Iran's kits are made by Nike's main rivals Adidas but several of their players normally wear the American brand's footwear.
But now, due to this ruling, unless they buy them themselves, we won't be seeing any Team Melli players with Nike boots on their feet as it stands.
"We are disappointed that Nike has boycotted Iran's World Cup players by refusing to provide shoes to the Iranian national team." - @Jabdi
We expect better policies from @Nike and expect :flag_ir:#TeamMelli to be treated fairly! The Beautiful Game should be free from politics. pic.twitter.com/cI8baDmGxF
- PersianFootball.com :flag_ir: (@FootballPersian) June 7, 2018
Believe! Just do it only if you are not from Iran #Nike #USsanctions #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/p0wQ98OUgE
- Shervin شروین (@sherwix) June 8, 2018
As per RT, the sanction even includes Saman Ghoddos, the Swedish-born striker who is actually said to have a Nike boot deal. The Ostersunds FK man will likely have to turn his attentions elsewhere when it comes to his footwear.
Understandably, with the news almost being dropped on the Iran players mere days before the tournament begins, manager Carlos Queiroz is not happy and asked for FIFA to get involved.
"Players get used to their sports equipment, and it's not right to change them a week before such important matches," the Portuguese told media after a training session in Moscow.
"We call on FIFA to come to our help in this issue."
It's a bit of a joke that politics are hindering several of the Iranian players and it feels needlessly petty. Iran have been drawn in Group B along with Portugal, Spain and Morocco.