Kaka and Iker Casillas unveil 'Al Rihla' match ball for Qatar World Cup 2022

Ball will embark on a global tour and will visit 10 cities ahead of the tournament later this year

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Football greats Iker Casillas and Kaka were on hand to unveil the official match ball for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

Named 'Al Rihla' - Arabic for 'the journey' - the ball is the 14th successive World Cup ball by Adidas and is the first to be made exclusively with water-based inks and glues.

“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,” said Jean-Francois Pathy, Fifa’s director of marketing.

“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's design has, according to Fifa, been "inspired by the culture, architecture, boats and flag of Qatar. The bold, vibrant colours set on a pearlescent background represent the host country and the ever-increasing speed of the game".

“The game is getting faster and, as it speeds up, accuracy and flight stability become critically important,” said Franziska Loffelmann, the design director – football graphics & hardwear at Adidas.

“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.”

After the first public appearance led by Kaka and Casillas - World Cup winners with Brazil and Spain respectively - the ball will embark on a global tour, visiting 10 cities including Dubai, Tokyo, Mexico City and New York.

Updated: March 31, 2022, 8:20 AM
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