Tell NIKE to Stop Discriminating Against Iran's National Soccer Team

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Football (soccer) is supposed to promote peace and friendship, not discriminate.

Just a few days before the World Cup 2018 in Russia, NIKE announced that they will not provide or sell shoes to the Iranian National Football (Soccer) team, the first team in the world to qualify, due to the returning US Sanctions on Iran. 

In a statement emailed to VOA Persian, NIKE said it based its decision on the Trump administration's plan to re-impose U.S. sanctions on Iran in the coming months. "The sanctions mean that, as a U.S. company, we cannot provide shoes to players in the Iran national team at this time," the Nike statement said. A Reuters report published May 30 quoted a Nike spokesman as saying none of the Iranian players at the World Cup, which begins next week, will be wearing its shoes. Even Swedish-born Iranian player Saman Ghoddos, an Ostersunds FK striker who is sponsored by Nike, will be forced to wear another brand.

Since then, The coach of Iran's national team has urged world soccer's governing body, FIFA, to step in against U.S. sportswear giant Nike for refusing to provide his players with shoes at this month's World Cup in Russia. "Players get used to their sports equipment, and it's not right to change them a week before such important matches," the Iranian squad's long-serving manager, Carlos Queiroz, a Portuguese national, was quoted as saying on June 6. Despite the fact that international sports competitions are meant to bring nations and peoples together in the name of friendly competition and love for the sport, Nike has chosen to take a racist, partisan approach. 

We ask NIKE to retract their decision, and give the Iranian National team equal respect and footing by providing them equipment for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.