Bengaluru, June 13: Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has called on US sportswear firm Nike to apologise to Team Melli after they said it could not supply the players with football boots for the World Cup due to sanctions.
Due to the latest US sanctions on Iran because of hardline nuclear policy, Nike was forced to withdraw it's supply of football boots to the Iranian national team ahead of the World Cup kick off in Russia much to the frustration of Queiroz.
Impact of #sanctions on ordinary Iranians: @Nike: “as a US company we can’t provide shoes to players in #Iran’s National team.”— Sanam Shantyaei (@SanamF24) June 11, 2018
"Players get used to their sports equipment & it's not right to change them a week before such important matches," team manager Carlos Queiroz #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/veCrHEhQ6S
"US sanctions mean that, as a US company, Nike cannot supply shoes to players in the Iranian National team at this time," Nike had said in a statement.
Queiroz, whose side face Morocco in their Group B opener on Friday, said it was an unnecessary statement and asked FIFA to help.
"It has been a source of inspiration for us," Queiroz was quoted as saying in Sky Sports.
"This last comment of Nike was, in my personal view, an unnecessary statement. Everybody is aware about the sanctions.
"They should come out and apologise because this arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary," he added.
Team Melli are drawn in Group B which features heavyweights Portugal and Spain. Queiroz helped Iran qualify for back-to-back appearances in the FIFA showcase for the first time in the country's history and was banking on a good show from his wards before controversy erupted.
"Players get used to their sports equipment and it's not right to change them a week before such important matches," Queiroz added.
Talking about the lung opener against Morocco, Queiroz sounded upbeat, "We have the potential to stun Morocco in our first match because we know the team very well but they know nothing about us!," said the former Real Madrid boss.
⚽️ #TeamMelli 🇮🇷can surprise Morocco! Carlos Queiroz, told reporters today.— PersianFootball.com 🇮🇷 (@FootballPersian) June 9, 2018
“We have the potential to stun Morocco in our first match because we know the team very well but they know nothing about us!”#AllForIran pic.twitter.com/bYNwjl0cAl
The Portuguese taskmaster, who has coached his native country as well before thinks his team is better prepared this time than that four years ago in Brazil.
"This is the reality that Group B is the hardest group in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. However, we cannot change our goals or let our supporters down," said Queiroz, who was assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson when Manchester United won the UEFA Champions League in 2008.
(With inputs from Agencies)