Nike’s Move against Iran ‘Disrespectful’: Jahanbakhsh
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran's Alireza Jahanbakhsh had strong words for Nike following their team's 1-0 win against Morocco to open the World Cup.
The team's star winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh said of the American brand's move, "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,” he added, ESPN news reported.
"That is something that unfortunately this brand did and, well, it's their responsibility to do such a thing but the image they have (projected) at least for 80 million people in Iran is not a really nice image."
The shoe company withdrew the squad's supply of boots earlier this week due to US-led sanctions against Iran ahead of the tournament in Russia.
Iran won their group opener after Morocco's Aziz Bouhaddouz scored an own goal in second-half stoppage time to give Carlos Queiroz's team the three points and top spot in Group B thanks to a draw later on Friday between Spain and Portugal.
On a historical night for the country, Iran recorded their second-ever win in a World Cup, 20 years after beating the US at the 1998 World Cup.
Iran will face Spain in their next Group B match on June 20, before playing Portugal five days later.