Nike to Withhold Iranian Soccer Team’s Shoes for World Cup Over US Sanctions

In a last minute move that threatens to severely handicap the Iranian team at the 2018 World Cup, Nike has announced that they are taking away their shoes, saying no Iranian players can be allowed to wear the shoes of a US company because of sanctions.

Iran’s coach is protesting the move to FIFA, noting that players have been practicing with the Nike shoes and will now have to get used to an entirely different type at the last minute. It is unclear where Iran will get these last minute shoes from.

Adidas is a possible replacement, however. The German company is already providing Iran’s team jerseys for the event, and despite US warnings, recent EU law has shielded EU companies from the US sanctions on Iran.

Ironically, Iran’s team includes Swedish-born Saman Ghoddos, who has an individual contract with Nike. The Ostersunds FK star may find himself forbidden from using the shoes he’s explicitly contracted to wear by the company that pays him to wear them, because of his Iranian ethnicity.

Despite Nike trying to present this as a continuation of US policy, Iran’s team was wearing Nike shoes in 2014, despite the exact same sanctions all being in place then. That Nike didn’t bother to cancel it until the last minute, literally days before Iran’s first game, only adds to the sense this was a move made out of spite at the behest of US officials. Iran opens up their World Cup play on Friday morning against Morocco in St. Petersburg.

18 thoughts on “Nike to Withhold Iranian Soccer Team’s Shoes for World Cup Over US Sanctions”

  1. I won’t be buying anything from Nike in the future. All antiwar, libertarian Americans should boycott Nike and all subsidiaries.

  2. Nike claims this and we see that the sanctions have been in place all these years under Saint Barack, so we cannot blame Trump. Cowardice on Nike’s part and the usual mean-spirited behavior to Iran.

  3. “recent EU law has shielded EU companies”
    But an EU law is not a US law, and the US rules the world financial system.

  4. I presume these Nike boots were purchased legally? If so, surely the manufacturer has no right to forbid usage of a product purchased from them? The Iranian team should wear the boots of their choice. If they want to use Nikes, they might also tell the company to get stuffed – and ceremonially burn their boots after the games are over.

  5. Boycott NIKE.
    And Kim, don’t count on getting any shoes when the US pulls out of your deal.

  6. This is kindergarten-level behavior. Is NIKE really in danger of getting punished for selling or given soccer boots to Iran? If the answer is yes then our world is really doomed.

  7. NIKE is showing it’s true colors. No International team should buy their products ever again.

    Iranian team is better off with Adidas anyway.

    Soccer/Football is the International Sport of Peace.

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