Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

Adidas Unveils FIFA World Cup™ Match Ball with Connected Ball Technology

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Adidas has introduced an exciting innovation in the world of football with the unveiling of the first FIFA World Cup™ official match ball to feature connected ball technology. This groundbreaking technology will revolutionize the game by providing precise ball data in real time, supporting fast and accurate offside calls through the VAR system. Let’s delve into the details of this game-changing development.

Enhanced Offside Calls with Connected Ball Technology

The FIFA World Cup™ 2022 Official Match Ball, named Al Rihla, will incorporate connected ball technology. This cutting-edge feature will furnish match officials with an unprecedented level of data and information, enabling them to make quicker and more accurate decisions on the grandest stage of football.

By combining the precise ball data provided by the connected ball technology with player position data and artificial intelligence, FIFA’s semi-automated offside technology is enhanced. This improvement offers Video Assistant Referees instantaneous information, optimizing decision-making processes.

How It Works

At the heart of the Al Rihla ball lies the new adidas Suspension System, which houses a 500Hz inertial measurement unit (IMU) motion sensor. This motion sensor tracks every touch of the ball at a rate of 500 times per second, providing unparalleled insight into the movement of the ball.

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The sensor, powered by a rechargeable battery that can be charged by induction, remains discreet and unnoticeable for players, ensuring it does not affect performance. The data collected by the sensor is transmitted to Video Match Officials within seconds, allowing them to review live data for the first time. This real-time information on players’ ball touches assists in accurate offside calls and helps identify unclear touches, leading to improved quality and speed in the VAR decision-making process.

Rigorous Testing and Collaboration

The connected ball technology has undergone rigorous testing with professional and grassroots football clubs worldwide, including blind testing. It has been successfully tested at prestigious events such as the FIFA Arab Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup 2021 in Abu Dhabi. These tests have demonstrated that the technology does not alter the ball’s performance, ensuring a seamless integration into the game.

This innovative technology is the result of a three-year collaboration between FIFA, adidas, and KINEXON, leaders in state-of-the-art sensor network and edge computing. Their joint effort aims to enhance the overall football experience for referees, teams, players, and passionate fans who will be attending the FIFA World Cup™ 2022 in Qatar.


How will the connected ball technology improve the game?

The connected ball technology provides Video Match Officials with precise and real-time data on player touches, assisting in making accurate offside calls and detecting unclear touches. This leads to faster and more reliable VAR decision-making, ultimately enhancing the overall quality of the game.

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Will the connected ball technology be available for purchase?

No, the official match ball with connected ball technology will not be commercialized or available in retail. It is exclusively designed for official use in the FIFA World Cup™ 2022.


Adidas continues to push the boundaries of football innovation with the introduction of connected ball technology in the FIFA World Cup™ 2022 Official Match Ball, Al Rihla. This groundbreaking feature provides match officials with unparalleled accuracy and real-time data, enhancing the VAR system and ultimately improving the game for players and fans alike. With its commitment to technology and innovation, adidas remains at the forefront of revolutionizing the modern game.