Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has laid into Nike after the US sportswear company waited until the last moment to withdraw a supply of boots that were to be used by the team at the World Cup.
Nike opted to cut off their supply deal with Iran in line with US trade sanctions put in place by their President designed to squeeze the Iranian government.
“US sanctions mean that, as a US company, Nike cannot supply shoes to players in the Iranian National team at this time,” the brand said in a statement issued a couple of days ago.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Wednesday afternoon, a couple of days before Iran’s opening Group B match against Morocco, Queiroz branded the decision “ridiculous” and demanded Nike apologise for the furore they have created on the eve of the tournament.
It has been a source of inspiration for us. This last comment of Nike was, in my personal view, an unnecessary statement. Everybody is aware about the sanctions.
They should come out and apologise because this arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary.
According to ESPN, Iranian players have since responded by asking non-Iranian clubmates to lend them Nike boots for the World Cup, or by simply venturing out and buying their own from sport shops.