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Sanctions scupper Iran’s World Cup boot deal

Players representing the Iran national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia (June 14-July 15) are facing a race against time to find a new footwear supplier after sportswear manufacturer Nike said it would not provide boots to the team because of new US sanctions on the country.

The decision comes after US President Donald Trump last month withdrew from a nuclear deal agreed between Iran and other leading nations. He has also pledged to reimpose economic sanctions waived when the deal was signed in 2015. 

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

In response, 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.”

He also called on international governing body FIFA to intervene, affirming that footballers should not be involved in political matters. 

Iran plays its first match of the tournament against Morocco on June 15.

Nike’s recent boot releases have included two updated version of its Mercurial boot, including the Mercurial Superfly 360 (pictured). Image credit: Nike.

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