ESPN : Iran’s national team was always going to face a difficult challenge in 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.
With just days until their opening match against Morocco, the Iranian players are scrambling to settle their footwear situation after Nike, which had previously supplied the team with boots, said it would not do so for this tournament because of global economic sanctions against the Asian country.
The backdrop to the development is the Trump administration’s recent decision to withdraw from the international nuclear deal made three years ago, and to intensify the restrictions against Iran.
In a statement, Nike said, “U.S. sanctions mean that, as a U.S. company, Nike cannot supply shoes to players in the Iranian national team at this time,” though the company also admitted that: “Sanctions applicable to Nike have been in place for many years and are enforceable by law.”