Saturday, November 19, 2022
Sports Desk

Why made-in-Pakistan footballs always win FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup footballs manufactured in Pakistan by a well-known brand through Sialkot-based Forward Sports

Sports Desk

Photo shows a soccer player standing in a green field with a foot on the football.. — Reuters/File
Photo shows a soccer player standing in a green field with a foot on the football.. — Reuters/File
  • World Cup to kick off on November 20 in Qatar.
  • Al Rihla, which designed after rigorous testing.
  • Footballs made to support peak game speeds. 

KARACHI: Pakistan’s team might not be participating in the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar but footballs made in the Asian country are set to shine at the mega event.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be played from November 20 to December 18 at eight venues in Qatar, with 32 teams playing a total of 65 matches.

Here is everything you need to know about the FIFA World Cup 2022 footballs.

Why is FIFA World Cup 2022 football named ‘Al Rihla’?

According to the official FIFA website, Al Rihla means “the journey” in Arabic, with the colour combination inspired by Qatar’s culture, architecture, iconic boats and flag.

“Adidas is bringing its sporting expertise to the game’s premier event yet again by providing a match ball with sleek aesthetics that also delivers accuracy and flight stability. It is designed to support peak game speeds and, furthermore, is manufactured with strictly water-based inks and glues for additional sustainability,” it added.

Where were the footballs made?

The FIFA World Cup footballs are manufactured in Pakistan by Adidas through ‘Forward Sports’, a Sialkot-based company.

Sialkot is famous for producing top-quality sports goods and has been manufacturing footballs for the World Cups for a long time.

“This brand, which will be used in Qatar World Cup, is too much responsibility and is faster. The 25% elements, which have been used in this brand, are sustainable and this brand is made of recycled material,” Forward Sports Managing Director Hassan Masood told The News, earlier this year.

“Its weight ranges from 425 to 445 grams while its size is from 68.8cm to 69.3cm,” he added.

Faster in flight

The football is designed to support peak game speeds, as it travels faster in flight than any ball in the tournament’s history.

“This is a stunning, sustainable and high-quality Official Match Ball from Adidas that will be enjoyed by stars performing at the top of their game on the world’s biggest stage in Qatar, as well as grassroots players everywhere,” said Jean-François Pathy, FIFA’s Director of Marketing.

Al Rihla, which was designed after rigorous testing, provides great accuracy and reliability in the field of play, partly due to its new panel shape and surface textures.

Water-based inks and glues

Since sustainability was a priority while designing the football, Al Rihla is the first FIFA World Cup ball to be made exclusively with water-based inks and glues.

With sustainability at the heart of the World Cup, the authorities are hopeful that the tournament will change the way future FIFA competitions and other sporting mega-events are organised.