There have been plenty of criticisms of the Adidas Jabulani ball, to the point where FIFA have said they will look into the concerns about the ball.
Seems to me like it is a bit too late.
We are in the middle of their show-piece tournament and that FIFA have made this admission now (given their reluctance to even acknowledge the discussion on technology) shows they are not happy.
Adidas have a contract with FIFA to supply the ball for the next World Cup in 2014. They paid over USD300 million for the right to do so.
I think one of the key reasons for the problems with this ball is the significant change from previous models. There seems to be a complete change is feel to the ball and the way players are describing how it acts will mean that they have some getting used to it.
The fact that the first free kick to be scored from came in the last round of the group stages again highlights how long it has taken to get used to the new ball.
The Jabulani has been available to national teams for months before the finals, but given most leagues (Especially, the English Premier League, La Liga and Serie A) use Nike balls, they could not be used consistently to gain experience.
Ironically, Germany\’s Bundesliga was the only major European league to use the Jabulani in normal domestic matches.
I expect for the next games to play better as teams are coming to grips with it. But it shouldn\’t take this long.
I would hope that Adidas are put on notice for 2014, to either provide a ball similar in characteristics to what is being used throughout the world or provide it much earlier for teams to practise with.
Unfortunately, with Nike\’s domestic league dominance, if Adidas decide to push the boundaries again, we could have the same problem in four years time.