Sports apparel giant Nike on Monday said it will not supply Iran's national soccer team with boots for use in this month's World Cup in Russian Federation due to concerns about economic sanctions against the country.
The last-minute announcement has left the Iranian team scrambling to figure out which soccer cleats the players will wear for the World Cup, which begins Thursday at soccer stadiums throughout Russian Federation.
Nike, who was set to sponsor the team with cleats and footwear throughout the tournament, announced that it had withdrawn its support of the team for the World Cup because of global economic sanctions against the country.
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.
Due to United States sanctions, Nike are unable to provide Carlos Queiroz's Iran side with playing gear for the tournament in Russian Federation.
Nike cited the global economic sanctions against Iran as the primary reason for the withdrawal, a effect of the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the 2015 worldwide nuclear deal and tighten restrictions against the Asian country.
"It has been a source of inspiration for us", Queiroz told Sky Sports News " This last comment of Nike was, in my personal view, an unnecessary statement.
"They should come out and apologise because this arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary".
The ESPN report said Iran's players had responded to the decision by asking non-Iranian players on their club teams to loan them soccer shoes, while others had bought their own from stores. While the sanctions are meant to put pressure on the country's economic system, it appears the move has had the unexpected repercussion of leaving Iran's players scrambling for shoes only days before they play the biggest games of their year. Spain and Portugal round out the deadly Group B.