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Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 19:25 UK

World Cup 2010: Fabio Capello slams 'worst ever ball'

England's Robert Green

Highlights - England 1-1 USA

England coach Fabio Capello believes the World Cup ball is the worst he has ever seen.

The Jabulani ball being used in South Africa for the World Cup has been widely criticised because of its irregular flight.

"For the players it is terrible," said Capello. "It is also terrible for the keepers because it is impossible to anticipate the trajectory."

World governing body Fifa has defended the ball, saying it was fully "tested".

The Jabulani - its name derives from the Zulu words "to celebrate" - was made available in February and was used at this year's Africa Cup of Nations as well as a number of domestic leagues, including Germany, Argentina and the United States.

The ball was tested at Loughborough University in England but it was not used in the Premier League because it has a contract with rival manufacturer Nike.

Adidas say altitude is the main factor affecting the way the ball behaves in flight and have blamed players for not practising enough with it before the tournament.

However, Capello feels the ball is having an adverse effect on games.


"The big problem is that sometimes this ball is impossible to control," said England's Italian manager.

"It is good when you play short passes but when you try to switch the ball with long passes it is very difficult to understand the trajectory."

England drew their opening game with the USA 1-1 when an awful error from goalkeeper Robert Green allowed Clint Dempsey to equalise Steven Gerrard's opening goal in Rustenburg.

Green refused to blame the ball for his handling error but admitted that it had moved unexpectedly after Dempsey hit his shot.

Rooney denies ball is a problem

Ivory Coast boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has joined the chorus of criticism and believes goalkeepers should be consulted when new footballs are being designed for international tournaments.

"It's too late to do something about it in this World Cup," said Eriksson.

"It's a decision for the authorities for the next big tournament. It should be discussed and everyone should listen to the top goalkeepers in the world."

England's David James, Italy's Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas of Spain were among the goalkeepers who criticised the Jabulani before the tournament began.

"The ball is dreadful. It's horrible but it's horrible for everyone," stated James, who said some goalkeepers would end up "looking daft".

Eriksson, who was previously in charge of England and Mexico, said he could understand why goalkeepers were unhappy.

"Maybe we will see some goals. But discussion between managers, the company who produce the football and the football players, that would be good," he added.

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see also
Gerrard eager for advanced role
17 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Green should keep place - Shilton
17 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Fifa puts faith in Jabulani ball
15 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
"It's the worst ball ever..."
14 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
James criticises World Cup ball
02 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010

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