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Adidas Unveil The Ball For This Year’s World Cup – ‘Al Rihla’ – Claimed To Be The ‘Fastest & Most Accurate’ In History (PHOTO) | Football/Soccer

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Adidas have unveiled the official match ball called ‘Al Rihla’ ahead of the upcoming 2022 Qatar World Cup. 

It is the 14th successive ball that adidas has created for the FIFA World Cup and is designed to support peak game speeds, as it travels faster in flight than any ball in the tournament’s history.

The ‘Al Rihla’ takes its name from the Arabic word for ‘the journey’ and is inspired by the architecture, boats, and flag of host nation Qatar.

FIFA’s director of marketing, Jean-Francois Pathy, said: ‘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.

‘Al Rihla’s worldwide journey will represent the incredible reach of the FIFA World Cup and give fans a unique opportunity to engage with the event as excitement builds ahead of the big kick-off.’

The ball has been designed from the inside out using data and rigorous testing at adidas labs, in wind tunnels and on the pitch by football players themselves.

Al Rihla is expected to provide the highest levels of accuracy and reliability on the field of play, partly due to its new panel shape and surface textures. 

Franziska Loffelmann, the Design Director – Football Graphics & Hardwear at adidas added: ‘The game is getting faster and, as it speeds up, accuracy and flight stability become critically important.

‘The new design allows the ball to maintain a significantly higher speed as it journeys through the air. 

‘For the biggest global stage in all of sport, we set out to make the impossible possible with radical innovation by creating the fastest and most accurate FIFA World Cup ball to date.’

The ball is the first FIFA World Cup ball to be made exclusively with water-based inks and glues.  

The biggest question is whether or not the goalkeepers will be happy when a ‘spectrum of colours’ comes flying at them during the tournament.

The adidas Jabulani come in for intense criticism from players and goalkeepers alike after a number of high-profile errors in the 2010 World Cup.

Former USA goalkeeper Tim Howard had some of the strongest views on the ball in 2010, by saying: ‘It’s terrible. You will hear that a lot next week, next month. We are trying to get used to it, trying to read an unreadable situation. 

‘Hopefully it’s not going to come back and bite us but you are going to see some crazy things with the ball.

‘What does it do? What doesn’t it do, would be a better question. It moves all over. If you hit five balls with the same striking motion you wouldn’t get the same result.’

Former Italian shot-stopper Gianluigi Buffon also criticised the ball, as he said: ‘The World Cup brings together the best players on the planet, these champions must be given something decent.

‘The new ball is not decent, not just for goalkeepers but for everyone. Its trajectory is unpredictable.’

The Telstar 2018 World Cup ball also got heavily criticised with Spain internationals David de Gea and Pepe Reina claiming it was ‘strange’ and that it was more difficult to grip than other balls. 

Germany shot-stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen echoed concerns, but conceded that goalkeepers would simply have to get used to it.

FIFA will be hoping the new innovative ball for the 2022 World Cup does not come under similar criticism.

Source: Dailymail

 

 

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Man City’s Benjamin Mendy Denies Nine Sexual Offences Against Six Young Women | Football/Soccer

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Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has denied nine sexual offences against six young women.

Mendy, 27, stood in the dock at Chester Crown Court and repeated “not guilty” as the charges were put to him and he entered pleas for the first time.

The French international denies seven counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, all relating to six complainants.

All the offences are alleged to have taken place at his home address and span between October 2018 and August 2021.

Mendy entered his pleas during a hearing on Monday ahead of his trial, scheduled to begin later this year.

He will go before a jury on July 25 along with his co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40, who also entered not guilty pleas to all charges.

Matturie, of Eccles, Salford, denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault, relating to eight young women.

His alleged offences span July 2012 to August 2021.

Judge Steven Everett, the Honorary Recorder of Chester, reminded reporters in the press box, including international media, that none of the women involved must be identified and reporting restrictions apply ahead of the trial.

After both defendants entered their pleas, the hearing went into private session with press excluded from the courtroom.

Mendy has played for Manchester City since 2017, when he joined from Monaco for a reported £52million.

He was suspended by the club after being charged by police.

Both defendants are on bail.

Source: SkySports

 

 

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Otto Addo Happy With Black Stars Stop-gap Role | Football/Soccer

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The Black Stars head coach, Otto Addo, says he is satisfied with his current role as the national team manager even for a short period as he leads the Black Stars to the next World Cup slated for Qatar in November.

The 46-year-old revealed he had been handed a six-month contract until after the World Cup after which the role would be reviewed but he indicated he was committed to his role as Talent Manager at German giants, Borussia Dortmund, which recently handed him an extended contract.

Addo said he was convinced his decision not to take Ghana’s top job on a permanent basis was to enable him to honour his contract with Borussia Dortmund, as he looks to a future career in German football.

Speaking to Transfermarkt, the Ghana coach noted that it was imperative for a national team coach to reside in the country of the team but added that the improvement in communication had made it easier for other things to be done remotely.

“The association had already asked me to coach in February, but at that time their priority was initially on a person who should work permanently for Ghana.

“The offer was a great honour for me. In the talks, I also made it clear from the start that my priority is at BVB (Borussia Dortmund) but I could imagine the job as an interim and in a dual function, ” he said.

For the man who has spent most of his life in Germany, where his family also lives, taking the Ghana job on a long term meant he had to relocate from Germany, which is not in his immediate plans.

“I don’t see the position as of now. I think as a national coach you should also live in the country you work for in the long term.

“Of course, many things can also be organised and delegated remotely over a certain period of time. But I see myself personally in Germany in the next few years.”

Addo said he was not sure it would be accepted by both parties (Black Stars and Dortmund) if he decided to take the Black Stars job on a long-term contract because he was not ready to give up on that of Dortmund.

“If I take on the challenge, I don’t want to give up my job in Dortmund,” he admitted.

The Ghana coach revealed that he had a six-month contract with the national team and outlined their games prior to the World Cup but insisted that despite the huge responsibility that came with the dual role with Ghana and Dortmund, he was ready to cope with it.

“It’s manageable, I have a contract for six months until after the World Cup. We have international matches in June, a ten-day trip in September and then preparation for the World Cup and the tournament is on the agenda”, Addo said.

He also praised his backroom staff, including the scouts, analysts for the success so far saying that he’s had a good team which he works with and trusts, describing them as very supportive.

“From the scouts to analysts to the trainers I have a very good team around me that I trust and that support me very well.”

Source: graphic.com.gh

 

 

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Alphonso Davies Confirms His Break Up With Girlfriend And PSG Forward Jordyn Huitema | Football/Soccer

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Bayern Munich defender Alphonso Davies has confirmed that he has broken up with PSG forward girlfriend Jordyn Huitema after nearly five years of dating.

The former Canadian power couple, both 21, had been together since September 2017, as they began dating in Canada before moving to Europe to advance their respective careers. 

The pair shared a YouTube channel together, that has since been deleted, along with all their pictures together on social media.



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Source: Dailymail.co.uk

 

 

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