Cape Town - Sportswear manufacturer Adidas have revealed Al Rihla, the official match ball for the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 later this year.
It is the 14th successive ball Adidas have created for the Fifa World Cup. The ball translates into "the journey” in Arabic after taking its inspiration from the architecture, iconic boats and national flag of Qatar.
As part of the launch, Al Rihla started its journey to 10 cities across the globe, where Adidas have created a series of initiatives aimed at improving access and equity in sport for local communities. The locations include Dubai, Tokyo, Shanghai, Mexico City and New York.
Al Rihla will also make its way into the local Premier Soccer League (PSL) DStv Premiership, where Orlando Pirates are set to use the ball for their remaining league matches.
Starting its journey in Qatar, Al Rihla was unveiled alongside World Cup greats, Casillas and Kaka, and iconic players, Farah Jefry and Nouf Al Anzi. They were joined on the pitch by a diverse mix of talent featuring aspiring woman footballers from Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and next-generation players from Aspire academy.
Designed from the inside out using data from rigorous testing in Adidas labs, wind tunnels, and on-pitch, Al Rihla provides the highest level of accuracy and reliability on the field of play, due in part to its new panel shape and surface textures. It was designed to support the highest game speeds as it travels faster in flight than any other World Cup ball.
32 teams. 1 ball to make their dreams a reality ⚽— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) March 30, 2022
Introducing Al Rihla, the #OfficialMatchBall of the 2022 #WorldCup
The countdown to Qatar starts now#Qatar2022 | @adidasfootball pic.twitter.com/LauuuVSO8h
The CTR-Core is an innovative core within the ball that is tuned to improve accuracy and consistency, supporting fast, precise play with maximum shape and air retention.
The Speedshell is the ball’s polyurethane skin featuring micro and macro textures, and a new 20-piece panel shape, which enhances aerodynamics to improve the accuracy, flight stability and swerve of shots.
The ball was designed with the environment at its heart - all components have been carefully considered, and Al Rihla is the first World Cup ball made using only water-based inks and glues.
Al Rihla is available at Adidas concept stores and will be available in selected sports retailers nationally as of Wednesday, 13 April.