FIFA World Cup 2022: ball, price, design, weight, photos

FIFA World Cup 2022: ball, price, design, weight, photos

Bertha Wanjiku
November 14, 2022 at 2:19 PM

The World Cup is one of the most anticipated events in the soccer world that takes place every four years. Fans always look forward to finding details like the venue, qualifiers, and team kits. These details about the FIFA World Cup 2022 ball and more will curb some of that curiosity.

FIFA World Cup 2022 ball
The official World Cup 2022 ball, during the friendly match between Morocco and Chile, played at the RCDE Stadium on 23 September 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto.
Source: Getty Images

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be played in Doha, Qatar, from 20 November to 18 December 2022. In preparation for the FIFA World Cup, the ball was unveiled on 30 March 2022. The Al Rihla is the fourteenth successive World Cup product by Adidas.

The FIFA World Cup 2022 ball

The ball's name, Al Rihla, means 'the journey' or 'the excursion' in Arabic. The name could also be interpreted as the journey's travelogue, referring to the host nation's journey to becoming the first Arabic nation to host the World Cup amid controversy and corruption allegations.

FIFA World Cup 2022 ball photos
Adidas World Cup match ball, Al Rihla, is showcased at the Doha Exhibition Center on 1 April 2022 in Doha, Qatar. Photo by Marcio Machado.
Source: Getty Images

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Adidas FIFA World Cup 2022 ball

Adidas has been the official manufacturer of World Cup balls since 1970. The German corporation is the second-largest manufacturer of sporting goods worldwide and supplies kits for many soccer teams and clubs worldwide. The Al Rihla is said to travel faster in flight than any other one in the tournament's history to sustain high speed and quality competition.

Physical design

Adidas used a 20-panel design inspired by Qatar's architecture, art and national flag. It has modern multicoloured etches on a white base. The panels are triangular, reminiscent of the sails on dhow boats that are popular in the Gulf state. Contrary to popular belief, the colour scheme is not of the night Doha skyline but of the Qatari flag and the white Arabic clothes.

FIFA World Cup 2022 ball design
A picture taken on 31 March 2022 shows Al Rihla, inspired by Qatar's culture, architecture, iconic boats, and flag. Photo by FRANCK FIFE.
Source: Getty Images

Functional design

The manufacturers accounted for environmental factors during the games because the tournament will be held in one of the hottest and windiest places globally. They came up with the speedshell innovation, a polyurethane leather surface with pitted panels bonded thermally to make it seamless. The design improves the aerodynamic speed of shots by maintaining stability and rotation in the air.

Technological design

The ball was designed per sustainability and eco-friendliness standards, making it the first ever with water-based glues and inks. Designers included a semi-automated offside technology to improve the speed and accuracy of match decisions. The technology was successfully tested at the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup and will see video match officials receive offside alerts, verifying determinations manually before communicating to the on-field referee.

FIFA World Cup ball
The official match ball for the first 1930 Uruguay FIFA World Cup is displayed at the 3-2-1 Qatar Sports Museum in Doha on 2 October 2022. Photo by Karim JAAFAR.
Source: Getty Images

The work of art was created from the inside out, including a CRT core bladder that gives the best shape and rebound ability, contributing to better speed and accuracy in intense matches. Rigorous testing at Adidas labs, wind tunnels, and by footballers has proven the added advantages of the new design.

The FIFA World Cup 2022 ball price

The product is retailing at $165 at the Adidas online shop. Other sporting goods shops also stock the new model. Though the price may seem steep, it is considerate of the new designs implemented in its manufacture. 1% of the football's sales will go toward the Common Goal movement, making it the first one in the 92-year history of the contest to directly contribute to raising funds to impact lives positively.

In which country was the FIFA World Cup 2022 ball made?

Forward Sports, a company based in Sialkot in Northeastern Pakistan, is subcontracted by Adidas to make World Cup balls. Together with China, they made and supplied environmentally friendly, thermal-bonded WC merchandise, as they have since 1990. The company also made merch for Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and the Champions League.

FIFA World Cup 2022 ball weight

The match ball weighs 450 grams or 16 oz to make it light in the air and improve speed. It has a circumference of 70cm or 28 inches, with a pressure of 1.1 atmospheres or 1100g/cm2 or 15.6 lbs/sq in.

FIFA World Cup 2022 ball photos
A photo illustration of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 match ball ahead on 31 March 2022 in Doha, Qatar. Photo by Shaun Botterill.
Source: AFP

Fans and pundits who want to see it in person could attend the tournament in Qatar or find pictures of the item on various platforms online. The Al Rihla also went on a journey across ten cities, including Dubai, Tokyo, Mexico City, and New York, where Adidas implemented a series of initiatives to improve equity and access to sports within local communities.

Which ball will be used in FIFA 2022?

The Al Rihla is the official FIFA WC 2022 ball. It was made by Adidas, respecting climate change patterns and sustainability. It is a design upgrade from the Telstar Mechta used in the 2018 Russia World Cup.

Why is the World Cup ball Adidas?

Adidas has partnered with FIFA to make the WC balls since 1970. They are also the global leaders in supplying football team kits and merchandise. The company outsources manufacturing to China and Pakistan companies, which use their superior technology to make world-class items.

FIFA World Cup 2022 ball weight, photos
Adidas ambassador Kaka plays during the first exhibition game after the launch of al-Rihla on 30 March 2022 in Doha, Qatar. Photo by Alexander Hassenstein.
Source: Getty Images

As thirty-two international teams compete at the biggest soccer tournament globally, the winners will be determined by their skill, talent, and teamwork level. The FIFA World Cup 2022 ball will contribute to the win with new features that boost accuracy and reliability.

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Bertha Wanjiku