Trade Sanctions Impacting World Cup? Nike Off Iran’s Team

by: The Knowledge Group

June 26, 2018


Nike has withdrawn its supply of footwear from Iran’s team ahead of the World Cup on account of current U.S. sanctions.

In May, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal between Iran and other international signatories. At that time, Trump vowed to bring back the economic sanctions that were lifted back in 2015, when nations signed the international agreement.

This means that the United States is reverting to the time of sanctions and therefore a U.S. company, at this point, “cannot supply shoes to players in the Iranian national team,” Nike said.

FIFA Called to Mediate

The head coach for the Iranian players, Carlos Queiroz, has asked FIFA, the international football association that runs the World Cup, to step in to support its members’ access to their gear. Nike is not a sponsor of the association, whose shoes and clothing manufacturing partner is Adidas.

The Iranian team’s coach wants an apology from Nike, and told the Sky Sports media group that Nike’s “arrogant conduct against 23 boys” is “ridiculous and unnecessary.”

The players say Queiroz, have trained using Nike’s brand of footwear, and need to rely on the performance they’re used to; and this decision will take the Nike brand out of the players’ options with no time to adjust before the all-important games. The decision came the same week as Iran’s first game against Morocco.

A number of people from Iran and around the world are carrying out a social media initiative to boycott Nike in response to the company’s eleventh-hour action.

Losing Ground to Adidas

For its part, Nike asserts it is legally bound to pull out, given the context of the current administration’s stance. U.S. firms deemed to have violated sanctions could face hefty fines from the U.S. treasury department.

Current events will buttress the dominant position held by the German corporation Adidas in the worldwide sports market.

Adidas faces no pressure to drop Iran’s team. The European Union is now shielding EU-based businesses from the impact of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

A recording of The Knowledge Group’s webcast discussing the latest with the Iranian sanctions, as well as those on Venezuela, North Korea, and Russia is available.  The recording is eligible for Continuing Legal Education Credit (CLE) and the full details can be found by clicking here.