/ 17 December 2007

Mixed response to microchip ball

A revolutionary football embedded with a microchip drew a mixed response after being tested at the Club World Cup.

Players and coaches were divided over the quality of the ball, designed to put an end to goal-scoring disputes by alerting the referee when it has crossed the line.

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said his players were generally pleased with the ball, although midfielder Clarence Seedorf said it was harder to control.

”For various technical reasons we still have to get used to certain trajectories, but generally we are able to kick it well,” said the Dutch veteran.

”This new ball is a little difficult to control, but when you hit it well it’s even more difficult for the keeper to grab it.”

Boca Juniors coach Miguel Angel Russo said one of his defenders, Hugo Ibarra, was not impressed.

”Ibarra said that as he is not used to it, its trajectory changes,” Russo said.

”If you use a new ball in such an important tournament, players have to put in a lot of effort to get used to it.”

The technology was first tested at the 2005 Under-17 World Cup and may be used at the next World Cup in 2010.

The system uses a magnetic field to provide real-time feedback to a central computer, which tracks the exact location of the ball on the field and sends the data to the referee.

”It’s good. We did not notice any different particulars with regards to other Adidas balls,” said Ancelotti, whose team beat Boca 4-2 in the final.

”It is has a good consistency and the trajectories are respected.” World governing body Fids did not offer any immediate assessment but said the test findings would be reviewed by an international board in March. – Sapa-AFP