Nike 'should apologise for arrogant statement' - Iran's Carlos Queiroz

The Iranian team in training ahead of World Cup

Iran's national football team has reacted with anger after Nike said it would refuse to provide players with its boots for the World Cup due to new U.S. sanctions.

The decision was accompanied by new economic sanctions.

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

Last month, US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the deal that traded a lifting of global sanctions for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear weapons programme.

The US Treasury has said that any US entity found to breach the sanctions could face severe financial penalties.

Iran's coach Carlos Queiroz said, "Players get used to their sports equipment, and it's not right to change them a week before such important matches".

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A number of Iranians have started a campaign on social media to boycott Nike products in response, using the hashtag "No to Nike".

The ESPN report said Iran's players had responded to the decision by asking non-Iranian players on their club teams to loan them boots, while others had bought their own from stores.

"We are only managers and footballers, and should not get involved in such matters".

Nike supplied the Iranian national team with soccer cleats during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, despite existing economic sanctions tied to Iran's nuclear program. 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. "They have now become symbols of humiliation", he said. Trump said the US would re-impose sweeping, harsh economic sanctions on Iran.

That last statement has caused confusion and frustration in the Iranian football federation.

A second warm-up against Kosovo was also cancelled.

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