June 16, The Iran Project – In response to Nike’s last-minute decision not to provide shoes to Iran’s National Football Team due to US sanctions, Iranian users have been reacting to the move by posting a picture, blaming the sportswear brand over World Cup shoes snub.
After Morocco win on Friday, Many Iranians on social media have started to post a picture which reads, “Nike, we just did it without you”. They also showed their anger by using the hashtag “#Who_Needs_Nike”.
According to ESPN, Iran’s Karim Ansarifard and Alireza Jahanbakhsh also had strong words for Nike following their team’s 1-0 win against Morocco to open the World Cup.
“What Nike did to us was very wrong,” Ansarifard said after the match: “I don’t want to comment too much on it. But I can tell you, as a footballer, we don’t compare diplomatic and political problems to sports.”
The team’s star winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh went further in his criticism of the American brand, saying: “To be honest we didn’t care actually. What they have done is a little bit disrespectful.
“In my opinion — and we spoke with the other players in the team as we had a meeting about this — politics has nothing to do with sport and with football, such a beautiful game. You don’t have to involve this kind of thing with this game.”
Meanwhile in an interview, Iran’s National Football Team Head Coach Carlos Queiroz said: “Let our boys play football. They are just football players. They are not against anybody… The main value of FIFA is to put politics aside. But this is not what’s going on.”
Iran won their group opener after Morocco’s Aziz Bouhaddouz scored an own goal in second-half stoppage time to give the country the three points and top spot in Group B thanks to a draw later on Friday between Spain and Portugal.
Earlier this week, the American shoe company announced that it won’t supply Iran’s National Football Team with shoes for the World Cup due to US sanctions following Trump pullout of the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal. This is while Iranian players wore Nike shoes at the 2014 World Cup, when Iran was also under heavy US sanctions.