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Saturday, 8 June, 2002, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK

World Cup ball to blame?

Forget Rivaldo's dive or Portugal's collapse - the main talking point of this World Cup is Adidas' Fevernova ball.

Do you think this ball makes a difference?


Belgium goalkeeping coach Jacky Munaron claims the ball is too light, while Turkey midfielder Abdullah Ercan has condemned the Fevernova as "bad."


Adidas say the Fevernova is the roundest ball ever produced - but it appears it could also be the most unpopular.

Only one man seems pleased - England captain David Beckham - who was involved with the development of the ball.

What do you think about the Fevernova?

Have your say

" Perhaps it's time to standardise the materials and designs used by all the major manufacturers "
Michael Weaver, United Kingdom

Yes, the ball does make a difference. I've never seen so many shots fly over the goal and at tremendous speed. The ball should have been introduced to the players a year before the World Cup, maybe players would have been accustomed to it and more goals could have been scored (which was surely the aim of all this).

If Beckham was involved with the design, I am highly disappointed that he never scored from a free kick.
Michael Minges, South Africa

I was under the impression that a football had to be a regulation weight and size. It therefore can't be too light or too small. The only thing the manufacturer can tinker with are it's aerodynamics by experimenting with various materials. We seem to have this problem with the ball every time the technology advances with the coming of every new World cup or Euro Championship.

The new Mitre ball used in the League and Premiership had a will of its own. The Premiership Nike ball that replaced the Mitre one was said to be too flighty. Perhaps it's time to standardise the materials and designs used by all the major manufacturers.
Michael Weaver, United Kingdom

Beckham had a hand in the design? Well, he ain't no rocket scientist that's for sure!
BBD, UK

How can you say that the ball is to blame when it was our man Beckham who helped design it!
Michael Bradley, England

" Are we all forgetting that there are strict regulations for weight and size of a football? "
Peter, UK

This ball is a travesty. They should go back to using the bladder of a year old pig, gently cured in brine for six months and filled with pure mountain air from Nepal.
Joe, USA

I believe that the new Fevernova ball from Adidas gives an unfair advantage to teams like France and South Africa. A pity they weren't able to capitalize.
Mark, Canada

Why blame the ball? Those who do are just sore losers.
Paul, UK

Are we all forgetting that there are strict regulations for weight and size of a football? The ball is not too light, too big, too round, too hard, too soft or whatever other excuses are being used by teams who have been knocked out.
Peter, UK

The new ball seems to behave more like a shuttle cock; initially moving at high speed through the air, climbing, hanging, then dropping sharply.
Ken Myers, England/Australia

A few favourites are upset by "lesser" teams beating them and, all of a sudden, the ball is too round...
Ouse, USA

" New ball, old ball, light, heavy, round or square, there will always be goals, misses and gaffes "
Amabibi Fayeofori, Cameroon

Round ball or square ball, the players could use a melon instead and it wouldn't matter. All the games have the same ball, it's just unlucky if a certain few can't get on with it. As for goal shots, the ball seems to fly straight and smooth and bends well too, although it has loads of bounce which could be a hindrance at times.
John Stanness, England

Faster, lighter ball = more goals = more exciting football. Gone are the days where defence and the goalkeepers ruled. We need to embrace higher scoring games and faster, better balls. Well done to all the Adidas staff.
Jono, Germany/England

New ball, old ball, light, heavy, round or square, there will always be goals, misses and gaffes. This all adds to the excitement in the tournament. Fevernova or no Fevernova, one team goes to win the World Cup. Lets thank Fifa for adding to the excitement.
Amabibi Fayeofori, Cameroon

I think the ball should have been made a bit longer so it is easier to handle, could be picked up and the sides increased to 15 with two posts above the goal. Then we wouldn't have to wait so long for the Rugby World Cup.
Paul Turner, Hong Kong (ex-pat)

" Well done to Adidas for producing a piece of footballing mastery "
Jamie, England

I've noticed in several matches that the ball does not seem to run along with the player, and slacks a bit when the player is running. This causes a bit of discomfort for the players because they seem to be running faster than the ball upon passes.
Nelson, Venezuela & England

I had the opportunity to play with a replica of the Fevernova ball last week and I can honestly say that it's a credit to 21st century technology. My personal opinion is that yes, it does move in the air when travelling but most modern day balls do.

It felt like it moulded to your foot when kicking but strangely when heading the ball it felt as solid as say a mitre delta. Well done to Adidas for producing a piece of footballing mastery.
Jamie, England

Whatever your opinion about the new ball, there is no doubt that several highly experienced top class goalkeepers are making mistakes. Is this just a coincidence?
Jim, Malaysia

" Why would anyone change the ball just few days before a huge competition? "
Shantanu Mondal, USA

I think that saying the ball is to blame is a very poor excuse for players getting over-excited and skying shots. Sheringham and Scholes had no problem against Argentina with those spectacular volleys. Roberto Carlos's free kick against China was as good as I've seen.

He had no problems making 60 yd passing with inch-perfect accuracy. All the teams use the ball, and many teams, e.g. Brazil, Germany etc, have scored great goals with the new ball, so what's the problem?
Tom, UK

I simply fail to understand FIFA's policy. Why would anyone change the ball just few days before a huge competition? This is not a small change. It takes time to get acclimatise with a different climate and footballers should be less concerned with a totally new ball of all things.

FIFA should've used the ball from the beginning of the season and then use that ball for World Cup. It doesn't matter if the ball is good or bad; you have to let players practice with it well before the tournament.
Shantanu Mondal, USA

I don't see the issue. Everyone is using the same ball. I agree with the statements that it should have not been introduced in the World Cup. However, let's be realistic. As soon as the players get comfortable with it they will probably find that with its lighter weight they can put a better bend on the ball.
Kris, USA

" The ball should be issued twelve months before the competition so that players can get use to it "
Hugh, England

Players who complain about the ball are only trying to find an excuse to cover up their inadequacies on the pitch. I do not see the likes of Ronaldo or Klose raising eyebrows about this ball.
Bobby Seagull, England

A ball is a ball, which is a round shape, and both teams play with the same ball, and given the same length of time to use it, so let's stop moaning about it and lets play some footy.
Mark Turner, USA (Ex-Pat)

The ball should be issued twelve months before the competition so that players can get use to it. The modern day football is a factor in football today. Those who can master the ability to manipulate the ball have a "true" advantage.
Hugh, London, England

Oh sure! These players can play against the top players in the world. They can manage the humidity, and different surfaces. BUT NOT A NEW BALL! How different can it be? What do they think? It's filled with cement or something?
Chris R, UK

The Fevernova ball may be light, but the players in the World Cup are all professional and should be able to adjust themselves to accommodate this.
Phil Hall, England

" The number of long range shots that have ballooned over the bar is unbelievable "
Nick, England

I've never kicked the ball but I cannot see why the players are complaining about it. Maybe they aren't aware that they're playing with a ball that's been produced with the best technology. If the ball is really so bad, how did Roberto Carlos score that magnificent free kick? The players should never forget that they're all playing with the same ball! They should start practicing with it instead of complaining all the time.
Onur Erguder, Turkey

I do not think the issue is about 'bad workmen blaming their tools', after all this competition has most of the best 'workmen' available and they should know what they are talking about. I don't swallow the 'optical illusion' argument either.

What if the new ball was a cube? As far as I'm concerned, the new ball appears to make a mockery of the present game. Most of the time the ball is struck it seems to behave perfectly normally. However, there seems to be an inordinate number of times, especially when a player is shooting at the goal, that the ball is 'skied,' going not just over the crossbar, but almost into orbit
Bo Dyer, N. Ireland

This smacks of deja-vu - as far back as I can remember teams have blamed the ball
Jeremy Rowlatt, USA

Making a change for a competition is not a safe or sound approach. It was the same in France 1998 with the red card for the tackle from behind. You use something you know works and trial new things, like drugs, computer systems, and all technologies.

" Making a change for a competition is not a safe or sound approach "
Ashley Dickson, Australia

Make the changes well in advance. The ball may not be the culprit but it does not make sense to bring in changes for the World Cup, bring them in earlier.
Ashley Dickson, Australia

Here's what I don't understand. If you want a world cup with lots of goals why bring in a new ball that players can't score with?

David Beckham wasn't born with the ability to curl a ball like that, it takes practice. So he's practiced with the old ball and is good at scoring. Then FIFA make the ball 150g lighter - of course it's going to be more difficult to score with it! It's a different weight, if he kicks it just as hard as he normally does it's not going to go the same way.

Next they'll be playing with a beach ball.
Jason Mitchell, Canada

I think the ball is definitely too light, it seems the days of terrific goals from free kicks are over.
Alan Bull, England

The ball is clearly too light. Even from a spectators view it's obvious. When struck cleanly and firmly, on the volley for example, it can be seen to first swing one way then back the other. As this can't really be controlled it adds nothing to the game but to make the poor keepers job that bit harder. It takes me back to the days of booting 'Penny Floaters' around on the beach!
Mark Hamilton, England

" The ball is clearly too light. Even from a spectators view it's obvious "
Mark Hamilton, England

I agree more testing should have been performed on the Fevernova. If strikes at goal are consistently wide of the mark and it is due to the way the ball behaves then that is a substantial change to the game for which Adidas can be blamed. If the ball flies differently no wonder players are complaining. Goals don't just win matches; they entertain a world wide audience that is essential for the continuation of the competition.
Richard, England

Adidas was required by Fifa to provide the new balls to all World Cup teams six months before the tournament, so why the excuse about its unfamiliarity? Play on!
Geoff Nugent, Canada

The ball has nothing to do with shooting higher or wider. Those players are just too eager or got too excited and lost their real touch. The hot weather and the high humidity would also have some effect on the ball's fly, too a degree. Anyway I have not heard Klose of Germany complaining.
Shawn, USA

" A team cannot hang blame squarely on the ball "
Mark Goode, USA

I put my son's new Fevernova ball to the acid test - a park kick about with his mates (aged 9-12) with my old Mitre match ball for comparison. Verdict: the players of the future reckon the new ball is awesome. Case closed.
Marky, England

I don't know what it is, but I miss the classic look of the black and white ball. Some things should remain sacred and this is one of them.
Dann, Australia

A team cannot hang blame squarely on the ball. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the same ball kicked around by both sides? Perhaps teams who complain about the ball should work on their passing and shooting accuracy.
Mark Goode, USA

The ball might be the same for everyone, but the World Cup is the most important event in football and we should be able to see the best football, which is not possible if the ball is unfamiliar.
Ollie, Spain

" I've never before seen so many world class players missing the target "
Grant Bickerstaff, England

I earn an average wage and have to keep up with new technology to keep my job. These players earn more in a week than I earn in five years and can't keep up with the new technology - it's a farce!
Craig, England

Sadly it's all to do with marketing. The ball used in France 98 was an awesome ball, it should have stayed. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Pedro Martins, Portuguese fan in Australia

I totally agree with Jacky Munarons' comments about the ball being too light as I've never before seen so many world class players missing the target. These players are sometimes only a few yards out and the ball seems to be flying high and wide when the players look certain to score!
Grant Bickerstaff, England

The Fevernova ball is the best ball in the world! They should give them away free.
Jose Arturo, Costa Rica

The World Cup should go back to real leather balls (with the pentagons painted black) and plain tight shirts. Too bad if Adidas and Nike cannot show off their products. I see this ball changing direction all of a sudden, as if it had a mind of its own.
Luigi Scribani, Italy

" The ball is the same for everyone. So, what is the issue? "
Luis Casimiro, Portugal living in San Diego, USA

It was probably a bad idea to introduce a new ball at the beginning of the World Cup, but it could not have had as large of an effect as some people claim; they can say the ball is bad, just as long as they don't blame it for poor performance.
Erin, USA

I played with small stones(!) when I was a child. I was 13 when I first hit a real football ball. I am 31 now and I thank god for the opportunity to play in an official football field. All I want to say to the players is: you have been given a chance to play with the most perfect ever ball and you are still complaining. This, I can never understand.
Olcare, Turkey

The ball is the same for everyone. So, what is the issue?
Luis Casimiro, Portugal living in San Diego, USA

The very high class players seem to be able to use it fine; just look at the way the Brazilians passed it half way across the pitch with almost pin point accuracy. The players should stop whinging and start training!
Mac, England

" The balls were fine as they were "
Tsee, USA

I don't know why we need a new ball (commerce probably) but complaining about it is stupid. Every World Cup the ball is wrong, the goal too small, the field too large and the weather.....
Eric, Holland

I have had a kick-about with the new ball and I must say it seems to be very nice. If you hit it exactly right, it pings. However, if your timing is even fractionally off, the ball does go all over the place. It also moves in the air, even when hit straight with no spin. I just wonder why Fifa always introduce a new ball for the World Cup - it seems strange to bring in something so fundamental to the game without testing it properly first.
Chris, England

The balls were fine as they were and introducing a supposedly revolutionary ball virtually at the start of the World Cup was dumb.
Tsee, USA

The point about bad workmen blaming their tools is valid. The World Cup to date has been very poor.
Mac, Scotland

I have the ball and I think it is top quality. Any player who chooses to use this as an excuse should take it up with the people who have spent years designing it!
Joel Reed, England

" I play golf. There is no such thing as the optimal club or ball "
Rajiv, USA

There doesn't seem to be a lack of goals being scored in this World Cup. The good players are able to make adjustments to their technique!
Paul, New Zealand

A bad workman blames his tools!
Steve B, Scotland

There is nothing wrong with the ball it is just something for the players to shift the blame onto for there own mistakes.
Neil Heaton, England

It certainly 'flies', but it zips about and seems to go okay for long passes. I read a Fifa statement saying the movement is only an optical illusion created by the pattern against the background. Play on.
Pete H, England

I guess there are some players that like the conditions and some that don't.

I play golf. There is no such thing as the optimal club or ball. It is still the abilty of the player to adapt to playing conditions. Also no two golf courses are the same.
Russ, USA

Excuses, excuses! If the ball isn't right then it's the pitch, or the weather or the refereeing, or SOMETHING. Just get on with it and enjoy the 2002 World Cup and all its excitement. This ball is going to be replaced sooner or later so deal with it!
Rajiv, USA

" If changes weren't brought in we'd still be playing with heavy leather balls and no shin pads "
Thomas, France

Robeto Carlos doesn't have a problem with the new ball. Just ask China! Rodriguez also scored a brilliant volley with the same ball.
Stephane, UK

I have watched all the World Cup games and the ball to me seems to be very light. A good example is the Roberto Carlos free-kick against China. Every World Cup there is always a useless invention.
Phillip Corry, Uganda

Total load of rubbish, there is something like this at every major tournament. If changes weren't brought in we'd still be playing with heavy leather balls and no shin pads
Thomas, France

I played a 90-minute game with the new ball yesterday, and it didn't seem to react differently to a 'normal' ball at all. Adidas like to pretend they are revolutionising the game, as they did when they developed the Predator boots, but at the end of the day accessories are no substitute for skill.
Andrew, New Zealand

The ball looks beautiful, but flies ridiculously. It takes on a mind of its own in the air. Replays of supposedly flat, straight shots prove this over-and-over. Bring back the Tango. This ball is making a circus out of the World Cup.
Craig, USA

" Total load of rubbish, there is something like this at every major tournament "
Thomas, France

The ball is making a huge difference it swerves much more and by the the way the stikers shoot it looks light. This could be affecting many of the players' performances.
Zainul, England

Anyone who blames their losses on the weight and shape of the ball shouldn't be playing football. The ball is used by both sides therefore both sides will experience the same problems and opportunities? There has been only one 0-0 result so who's complaining?
James, England

This new ball is definitely making a difference where shooting is concerned. The strikers seem to be blasting the ball high and wide, whereas if it was a little heavier maybe they wouldn't.
Malcolm Wilkes, England

I like the ball, there's nothing wrong with it. If goalies are complaining, doesn't that just seem like a workman blaming his tools for a bad job done.
Paul Stoker, England

Surely it's just a question of getting used to the ball's flight? Perhaps it was bad timing to introduce the ball without giving the players a good run with it prior to the World Cup.
Jamie, England

" So long as everyone is playing with the same ball, then I can't see the problem "
Mark Kent, England

Well I didn't see a problem with it when Sheringham and Scholes hit those sweet volleys against Argentina.
Mohammed Suliman, Saudi Arabia (from UK)

The World Cup doesn't feel the same without an Adidas Tango! It does seem quite light but then again I've never kicked one. I think it's the stickiness of the grass that is the difference
Macca, England

So long as everyone is playing with the same ball, and the consistency in manufacture means one ball is exactly the same as the other, then I can't see the problem. The goalies always whinge about this one.
Mark Kent, England

The only thing wrong with the ball is that it is ugly! On TV the logo just looks dark brown and you think the players are kicking a cow pat.
Paul Triggs, Germany

All that truly matters is that the same ball is used throughout the tournament, and I think the Fevernova is a good ball to use because of its aerodynamics. There's no reason to complain; you just have to alter your kicking style in order to control the ball.
Tim Morimoto, USA

There is nothing wrong with the ball!
Ben Mitchell, England


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