AP NEWS

Nike won’t supply Iran World Cup team with cleats due to U.S. sanctions

June 11, 2018

Nike has canceled an agreement to be the official footwear supplier of the Iranian national soccer team for the 2018 World Cup due to U.S. sanctions against the country.

Now, Iran must find a different company to supply the team’s cleats for the tournament before it begins later this week.

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

President Donald Trump imposed tougher economic sanctions on Iran last month while also pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal.

The World Cup begins Thursday in Russia. Iran’s first match in Group B is Friday against Morocco.

Hardly a sporting power on the world stage, this marks the first time Iran will play in consecutive World Cups. The country will be appearing for the fifth time, but has only won one match and has never emerged from the group stage.

Despite that history, Iran was one of the top qualifiers from the Asian Football Confederation this time around.