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World Cup chit-chat: Official WC balls to have built-in HD cameras

Last updated on: May 27, 2014 15:41 IST

World Cup chit-chat: Official WC balls to have built-in HD cameras



Technology will get a new meaning at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil as the 'Brazuca' balls that will be used at the mega event will come with six in-built HD cameras capturing 360 degree view of the on-field action.

Encapsulating everything that's Brazil and its passion for the game, the ball has shades of blue, orange and green, and stars on it reflecting the vibrancy and flair associated with the game in the Mecca of football.

Brazuca is the 12th ball created by sportswear giants but its last World Cup creation, Jabulani, which was used in the 2010 competition in South Africa, was heavily criticised for its unpredictability in the air due to its lighter weight.

Adidas, though, claimed that this time the ball will be much better. It said the football will have vastly improved touch and accuracy.

The technology involves a new structural innovation with a unique symmetry of six identical panels alongside a different surface structure that will provide improved grip, touch, stability and aerodynamics on the pitch.

Brazucam is a customised Brazuca official match ball featuring six HD cameras that capture 360 degree view of the action. The product features custom-made image stabilization software at the cutting edge of innovation.

It is created by six propeller-shaped polyurethane panels being thermally bonded together. Between the seams the Brazuca also has a different geometry to different balls, which aerodynamics experts believe, will help it remain more stable in the air.

"We do extensive flight path analysis and the results have shown constant and predictable paths with deviations hardly recognisable," Matthias Mecking, Adidas football director, had been quoted as saying by BBC.

Brazuca went through a thorough testing process over a two-and-a-half year period involving more than 600 of the world's top players and 30 teams in 10 countries across three continents, making it the most tested ball ever by Adidas and ensuring that it is suited to all conditions.

Around 600 players from across 30 professional and national teams in 10 countries were used during what was a thorough testing process.

The ball weighs 437 grams and has a water absorption rate of 0.2%, meaning it can retain its shape, size and weight even in the rain.

The name Brazuca, meaning the Brazilian way of life, was chosen by over 1 million football fans in September 2012.

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Image: A view of the official World Cup ball, the Brazuca
Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images


Protestors attack coach carrying Brazil players

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The bus carrying Brazil's World Cup squad to their first day of training on Monday was kicked and punched by demonstrators angry at what they consider exorbitant spending on football and not enough on social programmes.

A small group of striking teachers attacked the bus as it left Rio de Janeiro for the mountain town of Teresopolis, where the squad will be based during the tournament.

The teachers covered the bus with stickers as Barcelona players Neymar and Dani Alves looked on from inside.

When the bus arrived in Teresopolis, 100kms away, another group of around 30 people chanted anti-World Cup slogans.

"This country's priority shouldn't be the World Cup, it should be improving health, education, housing and public transport," said Rui Costa, a striking teacher who helped organise the protest.

Costa said none of the houses promised to victims of a deadly flood in the area that killed around 1,000 people in 2011 had been delivered.

Protesters allied to a far-left political party held up a banner in English that read, "Billions for the FIFA's World Cup, No housing for the victims of the heavy rains of 2011. Do you think it is fair?"

The demonstrations ended peacefully but they provided another warning of the potential pitfalls that Brazil faces as it struggles to host football's biggest extravaganza.

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Image: Teachers who demand better working condtions block the Brazilian national football players' bus
Photographs: Getty Images

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Bad food confiscated from Italy, England hotels

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Brazilian health and safety officials raided the England and Italy team hotels for next month's World Cup and confiscated fish, butter, ham and other food past their sell-by dates.

More than 50 kilograms of food deemed unfit for consumption was taken from the Portobello Hotel where Italy will stay and another 2kg was removed from England's Hotel Royal Tulip. Both hotels are in Rio de Janeiro.

As part of a wider campaign by the 'State Secretariat for the Defence and Protection of Consumers', officials visited 13 restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries, shops and hotels, and notified eight of them for irregularities.

“In total, 218kg of food unfit for consumption was discarded,” the Secretariat said in a statement.

One of the biggest raids came on Monday at Italy’s hotel in Mangaratiba, just outside the city of Rio. Officials there discovered 25kg of seafood and margarine past the sell by date, and another 24kg of meat, sauces, cheese and sugar that had no visible sell-by date.

They also removed 2.6kg of salmon, parma ham and butter after visiting England’s hotel.

Both hotels were also warned for not providing condoms to guests, as is required under Brazilian law.

Agents also visited the HotelCaesarPark where the Netherlands squad will be based but found no irregularities there.

Thirty-two teams will take part in the World Cup next month, the first to be held in Brazil since 1950. Many of them will bring their own food and their own chefs.

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Image: Brazilian former world champions players Juliano Belleti (blurred in background) and former Brazil football captain Cafu (behind right), synchronized swimming athletes Bia (left) and Branca Feres (right) and Brazilian TV presenter and model Fernanda Lima (2nd from left) pose for photo after Volunteers Uniform launch of the 2014 FIFA World Cup during Fashion Rio Summer 2014/2015 at Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro
Photographs: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

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'Positive' Suarez progressing well after surgery

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Uruguay striker Luis Suarez is progressing "very well" after undergoing keyhole surgery on his left knee although his chances of playing at the World Cup are still in the balance, the team doctor said on Monday.

"It's only been a few days (since the operation) but we can say that progress is very good," Alberto Pan told a news conference at the team's training camp.

"It would be adventurous to set a timeline. We have nearly three weeks ahead of us."

"We can't rule out that he will be ready for intense activity in this period, but we can't be certain, either," he added. "You can have adverse reactions and we will not know about this until he undergoes more intense activity."

Pan praised Suarez's attitude. "I've never heard a negative expression from him, he's always been positive," he said.

Suarez, who helped Uruguay to fourth place at the World Cup in South Africa four years ago, underwent surgery on Thursday and is expected to need 15 to 20 days to recover The 27-year-old has little room for manoeuvre before Uruguay play their first match in Group D, against Costa Rica in Fortaleza on June 14.

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Image: Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez leaves the hospital in a wheel chair after surgery due to a knee injury in Montevideo
Photographs: Andres Stapff/Reuters

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Fatigue won't affect Spain players, Torres says

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Fernando Torres has dismissed concerns the Spain players may be over-tired after a gruelling season as the world and European champions' squad for Friday's World Cup warm-up game against Bolivia gathered on Monday.

Most of the Spain team will be drawn from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid and the three clubs were involved in a tense fight for the La Liga title that was only decided on the final day.

Real and Atletico also clashed in Saturday's Champions League final, when forward Diego Costa came off injured in the ninth minute and fullback Juanfran appeared to be struggling with an injury in the latter stages.

"It's true that the national team players have been competing until very recently," Torres told reporters as he arrived at Spain's training base outside Madrid.

"But you forget the tiredness when you go to a World Cup and with Spain," added the Chelsea forward, who will be competing in his third World Cup starting in Brazil next month if he makes coach Vicente del Bosque's final squad.

"It was the same with other tournaments in the past and it went well for us. The players from big clubs are used to having long seasons."

Del Bosque's main injury concern will be Costa, who was struggling with niggling muscle problems in the final weeks of the La Liga and Champions League campaigns.

The Brazil-born forward had tests on Monday which revealed a tear to a thigh muscle and he will need around 15 days to recover, local media reported.

There was no official confirmation of the injury from the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) or Atletico.

Del Bosque has until June 2 to name his final 23-man squad and the Real and Atletico players selected will not join the rest of the players until then.

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Image: Spain's Fernando Torres
Photographs: Pilar Olivares/Reuters

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Romario criticises former teammate Ronaldo

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Former World Cup winner Romario launched another attack on Brazil's organisation of the World Cup on Monday and accused former teammate Ronaldo of inconsistency.

The once deadly striker said comments by Ronaldo, who works on the tournament's organising committee but professed himself embarrassed at Brazil's shortcomings in an interview with Reuters last week, were opportunism.

"Everyone knows what I stand for," the outspoken federal deputy was quoted as saying by UOL, a leading Brazilian news website. "I don't change sides depending on how the game is going."

However, Romario said the organisational problems, including stadium construction falling behind, blown budgets and the failure to deliver much-needed transportation projects, did not mean he would be cheering against the home side.

"We've already lost off the pitch," he said. "Now we have to hope and pray that we do well on it."

The World Cup starts on June 12 and Brazil will be bidding to win a record sixth title and their first on home soil.

Ronaldo was a player the last time Brazil won the tournament in 2002 and he has been one of the most visible supporters of the Brazil bid and President Dilma Rousseff.

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Image: Brazilian Soccer World Champions banners on Leandro de Itaquera parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Photographs: Ricardo Bufolin/Getty Images

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We have enough backup if Costa injured: Del Bosque

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Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is hopeful Diego Costa will recover from a leg muscle injury in time to feature at the World Cup but believes the world and European champions have plenty of backup if he doesn't make it.

Forward Costa, who plays his club football with Atletico Madrid, has been struggling with a series of niggles in recent weeks and was forced off in the ninth minute of Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid.

"He has a muscle injury and we will monitor his development so we can make a last-minute decision," Del Bosque said on Spanish radio late on Monday.

"We have until June 2 to register the (final) squad of 23 and we don't need to rush," he added. "I hope he makes it but we have good replacements."

If Brazil-born Costa is unable to make the trip to his native country for the finals starting next month, Del Bosque has several players available with a similar profile, including Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Llorente.

As well as Costa, winger Jesus Navas and right back Juanfran are injury concerns and Del Bosque has already called up Gerard Deulofeu as cover if Navas does not recover in time.

Image: Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa
Photographs: Vincent West/Reuters

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