The Official Match Ball of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was revealed by Adidas on Wednesday.
Known as Al Rihla, it is the 14th successive ball Adidas has created for the FIFA World Cup and translates into “the journey” in Arabic after taking its inspiration from the architecture, iconic boats, and national flag of Qatar.
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 for local communities in locations such as Dubai, Tokyo, Shanghai, Mexico City and New York. It will also make its way into the local PSL, where Orlando Pirates is set to use the ball for their remaining league matches.
Starting its journey in Qatar, Al Rihla will be unveiled alongside World Cup greats, Casillas and Kaka, and iconic players, Farah Jefry and Nouf Al Anzi. They will be joined on pitch by a diverse mix of talent featuring aspiring woman footballers from Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and next-generation players from Aspire academy.
Designed from the inside out using data from rigorous testing in adidas labs, wind tunnels, and on-pitch, Al Rihla provides the highest level of accuracy and reliability on the field of play, due in part to its new panel shape and surface textures. It was designed to support the highest game speeds as it travels faster in flight than any other World Cup ball.
The CTR-CORE is an innovative core within the ball that is tuned to improve accuracy and consistency, supporting fast, precise play with maximum shape and air retention.
The SPEEDSHELL is the ball’s polyurethane 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 ball was designed with the environment at its heart – all components have been carefully considered, and Al Rihla is the first World Cup ball made using only water-based inks and glues.
The bold, vibrant colour and graphics set on a pearlescent background reflect the ever-increasing speed of the game, with speed revealing the spectrum of colour to excite players and fans around the world
Al Rihla will directly contribute to raising funds to positively impact lives across the world, with 1% of Al Rihla’s net sales going to the Common Goal movement. Commenting on the initiative, General Manager of adidas Football, Nick Craggs said, “We are proud to continue our work with Common Goal, using football as a vehicle to drive social change and have meaningful impact on the lives of young people.”