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Iran National Football Team, Team Melli, Nike withdraws Iran boot supply, FIFA World Cup Russia 2018

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Nike’s insensitive decision to not supply boots to the sanctioned Iran

Iran is only a week away from proving their mark on World football as they bid for their preparation for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, and they suffered a new blow. Their national team boot supplying company Nike won’t be providing boots for their player.

Iran must gain strength amid US sanctions

Nike releases an official statement, “Due to sanctions, As a U.S. company, we can’t provide shoes to players of the Iran national team this time.”

It’s an insensitive decision by Nike at a time when Team Melli have already headed to Russia. As per Iran national team coach – Carlos Queiroz, “players get used to their sports equipment and it’s not right to change them a week before such important matches.”

Trump pulled out of Nuclear deal one and a half month ago and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Nike should have taken the decision then and it would have given Team Melli enough time to adapt to their new boots from a different manufacturer, but they are dragging the politics into sports.

The National Iranian American Council told CNBC, “Nike is dragging politics back into the picture and souring what should be a global celebration. Nike was an outspoken opponent of Trump’s Muslim ban that targets the Iranians, yet now here they are helping enforce this new shameful policy against Iranians. We hope they’ll join us in pressing for the Trump administration to reverse course and ensure sports aren’t turned into a political tool.”

The United States president Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions back on the country has hit hard the Asian nation. Their economy have taken a toll, but the immediate effect hasn’t been noticed. However, it does have made an immediate impact on the Iran national football team.

Team Melli suffered the immediate impact of US sanctions. Their FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 preparations have been jeopardized due to sanctions imposed. Iran didn’t play their pre World Cup friendly as the scheduled team Greece and Kosovo didn’t risk playing against a sanctioned country. Even Iran national team coach Carlos Queiroz admitted that cruel sanctions on the country are ruining their World Cup preparation.

He said, “There is a lot of unfair criticism of our preparation and many people say why we don’t play Italy while they know that we haven’t enough resources to arrange these kind of friendlies. It’s really shameful. They know that Iran is facing cruel sanctions; however, we’ll not take it into considerations and keep moving forward with strong leadership. I support my players and I know that they’ll do their best to make history at the 2018 World Cup. I am sure we’ll silence our critics with our best performance in the 2018 World Cup.”

If sanctions wouldn’t have taken the toll, Iran would have entered the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 tournament as Asia’s highest FIFA ranked team. Iran were the highest ranked Asian nation at 36 in May’s FIFA rankings list, but due to friendly cancelation they have dropped to 37 and Australia bounced back four places to occupy the 36th rank.

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