Nike Iran Ban Controversial

Team Melli at training camp Team Melli at training camp

US sporting goods giant Nike confirmed Monday it had stopped supplying Iran’s football team with boots ahead of the World Cup due to sanctions.

A statement from Nike said the company was forbidden from supplying kit to the Iranian team which will start its World Cup games on Friday, AFP reported.

“US sanctions mean that, as a US company, Nike cannot supply shoes to players in the Iranian national team at this time,” Nike said. “Sanctions applicable to Nike have been in place for many years and are enforceable by law.”

However, Nike’s decisions come controversial because the company supported Iran in 2014 Brazil World Cup with boots amid the existence of the US sanctions then.

An ESPN report from Moscow said the Nike decision left Iranian football officials baffled, noting that the American company had supplied the team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when similar sanctions were in effect.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz expressed frustration at the decision.

“Players get used to their sports equipment, and it’s not right to change them a week before such important matches,” ESPN quoted Queiroz as saying.

As an example, Iran midfielder Saman Ghoddos who played the 2017-18 season in Swedish football league has contracts with Nike for his boots. Nike does sponsor individual Iranian players who compete in soccer clubs outside of their home nations. It is unclear if he will also be affected by Nike’s decision.

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.

Nike’s moves come at a time of tense relations between Washington and Tehran, with President Donald Trump last month pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and re-imposing sanctions the previous US government had previously waived.

Nike’s ban for Iran as a politically-affected decision is not the first to be made against the nation. In 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, cellphone manufacturer Samsung refused to hand Iranian athletes the Olympic edition of Galaxy Note 8 phones.

The decision was hit by Iran Olympic Committee and also Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Amid complains Samsung reversed the course and officially apologized from Iran athletes.

Iran will kick off the World Cup campaign on Friday with a Group B clash against Morocco. Queiroz’s side also faces Spain and Portugal in the first phase.


I know one thing about my community and my people. We have the longest memory out of all nations I’ve ever seen. And the biggest pride. For good reasons if anyone knows history. Nike is finished in our eyes, probably for a generation or two. If you knew anything about Iranian/ persian people, you knew exactly what I mean. My half American boys donated their Nike shoes and products, even if brand new yesterday. I know my family is done with Nike. I also hear on social media that many others are doing exactly the same

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