Iranian football team seeks apology from Nike amid United States sanctions

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Morocco's Aziz Bouhaddouz had the misfortune of scoring an own goal as the African challengers went down to Iran 0-1 in their opening Group B game of the FIFA World Cup.

On Friday the Iranian diaspora from around the world flocked to St Petersburg for Iran's curtain raiser in Russian Federation against Herve Renard's Morocco.

"When the draw comes, we had two options: we change our goal because the group is so hard, or we keep the same hope and to play and fight for a chance to win the second round".

"If we could produce the same performance here as we did in qualification for the World Cup we knew we would have a big chance, as we did against Morocco".

Iran will play Spain on Wednesday while Morocco will be facing Portugal.

What I can say is we are fully ready for this game.

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That chance seemed to give Iran belief they could get a result at the Krestovsky Stadium, something that came to pass as substitute Bouhaddouz sent a bullet header past his own goalkeeper in the dying embers of the game.

Iranian soccer coach Carlos Queiroz says he believes his players have been brought closer together by Nike's decision not to supply the team with athletic shoes or a World Cup kit because of looming USA sanctions against Iran.

The state in Iran has banned women in the country from attending male-only sports events since 1979.

"We are here to compete with the favourites and in the end we hope that the gods of football speak higher and they make the decisions".

"Nike we did it without you" is going viral among the Iranian users since Friday night's win. Khalid and Hosseini both will be playing their first world cup and it will be some contest to see experience against a young gun.

Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show as his hat-trick helped Portugal earn a thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain. Spain, who claimed three goals against the Portuguese team, will be Morocco's final opponent in the first round, on June 25.

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