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The Jabulani's Malayali heart

The Jabulani, the FIFA 2010 World Cup's official match ball, has been branded as "supernatural" and a "supermarket ball" for its unpredictable trajectory and balance.

T.V. Mahalingam & Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: July 25, 2010

The strikers hate it. The goalkeepers can't hold on to it. And makers Adidas and FIFA are really mum about it. The Jabulani, the FIFA 2010 World Cup's official match ball, has been branded as "supernatural" and a "supermarket ball" for its unpredictable trajectory and balance.

Just proves that the prefix super is not always a good thing. Incidentally, Brazilian striker Robinho thinks the designer of the ball has "never played football". What's worse the much maligned ball, which costs about $110 a piece, has a strong Indian connection. Even though the Jabulani is manufactured in China, its bladders are made in Kerala.

Lakhs of bladders, made of the finest latex from God's own country, are being shipped even as you read this. Incidentally, the word Jabulani means "bring joy and happiness". Guess these balls aren't giving FIFA any joy at all.

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