Jabulani: more on adidas relationship with FIFA

Awhile back, I posted this:

Adidas relationship with FIFA

All the talk about the Jabulani, from what I can see, is missing the bigger point. Adidas is a sponsor of FIFA. They pay money to have an association with the World Cup and part of their deal is that they provide the most important piece of equipment that the players can’t choose themselves. So while Nike has somehow persuaded a massive percentage of the players to wear their new orange and silver boots, the players had the opportunity to make that choice.

Why has FIFA given adidas the ability, tacit or otherwise, to come up with a ball that intentionally behaves differently than any other ball. What gives any company the right to decide that they are going to manufacture (literally) the ability to radically alter what happens when players contact the ball and keepers try to stop it. Giving sponsors license to fundamentally alter what the game looks like is troubling. Where does that stop? Suppose next World Cup adidas decide to work in conjunction with the makers of the goalposts and add a thin, hyper-magnetic metallic layer embedded in the ball that is drawn to a metal on the underside of the crossbar, or woven into the netting, that has the intended consequence of drawing balls that would normally go over the bar…under it and into the goal?

Adidas are a sponsor. Who at FIFA gave them a green light to create a ball that tries to alter the normal characteristics of a ball struck by a boot? If no such permission was given, FIFA should get rid of them as a sponsor.

Whole thing is here

Glad to see it’s not just me questioning this. Respected analyst and former Liverpool player Craig Johnston points out how ridiculous it is to introduce a ball like the Jabulani at the World Cup here:

He goes a step further and questions why FIFA is being dictated to by sponsors here:

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