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Sports goods manufacturer Adidas has defended the design of its new Jabulani ball, and said the balls were supplied to all countries in February, giving time to teams to adjust to it.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Adidas spokesman Thomas Schaikvan, as saying that complaining countries like England only had themselves to blame as they had not practised enough with it.

“There are players who play in leagues with other balls, there are players who have not played in the Africa Cup of Nations, and players from other federations who have not practised with the ball. These are the players who take the most amount of time to get used to it,
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” Schaikvan said.

Schaikvan said the Jabulani ball had been used extensively in Germany’s Bundesliga as well as by France and Argentina who are sponsored by Adidas and other leagues such as Austria, Switzerland, Portugal and United States.

The ball was also tested by Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan.

Schaikvan said there had been no complaints, but conceded that altitude in South Africa was undoubtedly a factor.

“We presented the technology and underlined the requirement to get used to it because it is a different ball and a different technology,” Schaikvan said.

He added: “At the same time we also supplied all the federations with the balls.”

The use of the Jabulani is clearly tied to sponsorship deals so the Premier League is prevented from using it because it has its own contract with Nike. (ANI)
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