The soccer ball that will be featured at the World Cup -- don't forget, the games start June 11 -- is once again under fire from players who complain about their ability to control its flight. Tales Azzoni of the Associated Press filed this story from Johannesburg, South Africa, over the weekend with complaints from several top players. The story is getting play in a lot of newspapers this week. Some of the players say the ball, called the Jabulani, behaves like a cheap ball that kids buy at the supermarket. This doesn't come as a surprise ... at every tournament where a new ball is introduced, some players (usually keepers) complain. (Here's an earlier blog post with similar complaints about the Europass gloria ball). To add some intrigue to the story, England's Mirror.co.uk news site has a story interviewing the designer of the Jabulani, who says he could give the England team some advice on how to treat the ball -- advice that could mean the difference between winning and losing. "It would probably give him [Coach Fabio Capello] and the players a slight advantage in South Africa, there's no doubt about it. It could be the difference between winning and losing," Andy Harland told the newspaper. "There are certain things you can do to make the ball act differently, the way you kick it for example. Then there's the way it acts at high altitude." Maybe Capello's boys are too confident to worry about the ball. Andy, if you'd like to give some advice to Landon Donovan and the US team, I don't think you'll have to ask twice.
Players never like the World Cup ball
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