Nasa gives Adidas another kick in the Jabulanis
World Cup fever: Space scientists say the controversial ball is ‘unpredictable’
With less than a week to go before the end of the World Cup, the boffins at Adidas were no doubt hoping that the furore over their controversial Jabulani ball had died down.
But their hopes of a quiet end to the tournament have been dashed by none other than space agency Nasa, which has put the boot into the ball after putting it through tests at the Ames Investigation Centre in America.
Scientists sided with the likes of Fabio Capello, who called the ball "terrible", and goalkeepers including Julio Cesar of Brazil by concluded that the ball was flawed.
They discovered that at speeds above 44mph the ball became unpredictable. They found that its lightness and construction meant it fell victim to the 'knuckle effect' and would deviate inconsistently in its flight.
Nasa also suggested that altitude has played its part in making the ball act so strangely. Most of the stadia in South Africa are more than 1,000 above sea level.
Fifa have publicly defended the ball, but its impact on what has been an error-strewn tournament with very few successful long-range shots or free-kicks is sure to be a major talking point once the action is over. ·
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