Iran angered by Nike football boot ban

Nike refuses to supply Iran World Cup boots amid US sanctions

Iran's national team was always going to face a hard challenge trying to compete with more-established nations at the World Cup, but suddenly there is a new obstacle for its players: what to put on their feet.

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'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.

After Spain sacked their coach Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday, two days before their opening match, both Morocco and Iran will hope the likelihood of a surprise run has been boosted.

"Sanctions applicable to Nike have been in place for many years and are enforceable by law", Nike added.

U.S. sporting goods giant Nike confirmed Monday it had stopped supplying Iran's soccer team with soccer shoes ahead of the World Cup due to sanctions.

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"They should come out and apologize because this arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary", Queiroz said.

ESPN reported Monday that the decision follows the US withdrawing last month from the Iran nuclear deal.

Iran's coach, Carlos Queiroz, was surprised by the move, telling reporters: "Players get used to their sports equipment, and it's not right to change them a week before such important matches".

On Monday Quieroz said that the decision could adversely affect his team's performance in Russian Federation.

Some of Iran's players are understood to have asked non-Iranian players from their club teams to loan them boots, while others are said to have acquired them from friends or gone out to buy their own footwear in the shops.

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

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