Adidas Unveils 2022 World Cup Official Match Ball
The FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar is not all that far off, and a signal of that fact is the unveiling of the new official match ball for the tournament. The Al Rihla is the 14th successive ball adidas has created for the World Cup and is designed to support the highest game speeds as it travels faster in flight than any other World Cup ball.
The match ball is an iconic part of any World Cup, lending itself not only to the iconography of the tournament, but also to the overall story. For this year’s rendition – the first ever to be hosted in the winter – we get the ‘Al Rihla’, a ball that’s been designed from the inside out using data from rigorous testing in adidas labs, wind tunnels, and on-pitch, and it comes wrapped in a bold, vibrant colour and graphics set on a pearlescent background that reflects the ever-increasing speed of the game.
“The game is getting faster, and as it speeds up, accuracy and flight stability becomes critically important,” explained Franziska Loeffelmann, Design Director – Football Graphics & Hardwear, adidas. “The new design allows the ball to maintain its speed significantly higher 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 World Cup ball to-date.”
Al Rihla translates as “the journey” in Arabic and has been inspired by the architecture, iconic boats, and the flag of Qatar. The ball provides the highest level of accuracy and reliability on the field of play, due in part to its new panel shape and surface textures. Key features of its construction include the CTR-Core, an innovative core within the ball that is tuned to improve accuracy and consistency, supporting fast, precise play with maximum shape and air retention, and the SpeedShell, the ball’s polyurethane (PU) 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 launch will mark the start of Al Rihla’s journey to 10 cities across the globe where adidas is creating a series of initiatives aimed at improving access and equity in sport amongst local communities. Each activation aims to help improve access and equity experienced by those in the local footballing communities in locations including Dubai, Tokyo, Shanghai, Mexico City or New York, among others.
The Al Rihla is the first World Cup ball in the 92-year history of the tournament which will directly contribute to raising funds to positively impact lives across the world, with 1% of Al Rihla’s net sales contributed going to the Common Goal movement.
“At adidas, we believe sport belongs to all, and we have been committed and active in improving access and equity for our global community of footballers. As part of this commitment, on its journey around the world, Al Rihla will support local communities with activations designed to create lasting impact for grassroots and beyond,” said Nick Craggs, General Manager – Football, adidas.
“We are also proud to continue our work with Common Goal, with 1% of Al Rihla’s net sales supporting the movement, together using football as a vehicle to drive social change and meaningful impact for the lives of young people.”
The “Al Rihla” ball is available now from the adidas web store and retail stores until April 12.