Iran’s World Cup Team Should Be Treated Fairly

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
Email: jabdi@niacouncil.org

Washington, D.C. – Jamal Abdi, the Vice President for Policy of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement after Nike announced its boycott of the Iranian World Cup Team:

“We are disappointed that Nike has boycotted Iran’s World Cup players by refusing to provide shoes to the Iranian national team. We call on the U.S. Government to take immediate steps to address this shameful situation and that Nike actively seek a resolution. FIFA should also take necessary steps to address this issue and ensure that none of the teams in the World Cup are subject to double standards.

“Governments that drag politics into international sporting events, including Iran itself when it boycotts matches with Israel, face well-deserved admonishment. This situation is unfortunately no different. Events like the World Cup and the Olympics are meant to rise above disputes between nations and serve as an example of what unites us.

“This flies in the face of any claims by the Trump Administration that it is targeting the Iranian government and not the Iranian people. We are well aware that the President’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has openly called for the U.S. to take steps to target even sports exchanges with Iran and may relish this shameful situation. Nothing symbolizes the wishes and hopes of the Iranian people more than their national soccer team. And nothing unifies them more then when that team is unjustly targeted and insulted.

“The dignified response is for the Trump administration to immediately take steps to ensure that Iran’s national team is not barred from sponsorship in world sporting competitions and for Nike to exhibit good sportsmanship and treat all teams equally.”

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