"Al Hilm" replaces "Al Rihla": World Cup ball is replaced - new high-tech leather for the highlight games

Croatia and Argentina will compete in the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar on Tuesday.

"Al Hilm" replaces "Al Rihla": World Cup ball is replaced - new high-tech leather for the highlight games

Croatia and Argentina will compete in the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar on Tuesday. A day later, France meets Morocco - the first African team to reach the last four in the tournament's history. One or the other TV viewer should then be surprised by a new game device - because the official World Cup ball "Al Rihla" has already done its duty up to this point. The round leather with the yellow, blue and red accents is then replaced by "Al Hilm" by World Cup outfitter Adidas.

"Al Hilm" means "the dream" in Arabic - "Al Rihla" means "the journey". Adidas manager Nick Craggs explains the new World Cup ball: "Al Hilm is a beacon of the power of sport and football to bring the world together". "Millions of people from almost every country in the world will tune in, united by their passion for the game. We wish all the teams involved in the final stages of the tournament the best of luck," continued Craggs.

The previous "Al Rihla" ball, which features "Connected Ball" technology to support referee decisions, has been used in the group stages and first knockout rounds of the World Cup. "Al Hilm," with its gold base design and triangular pattern, is intended to pay homage to the deserts surrounding the host nation's capital, FIFA said in a statement. The new game ball also has sensor technology, which comes into play in the event of narrow offside judgments or tricky goal (out) decisions. Another irregular goal like Maradona's legendary "Hand of God" (1986 World Cup in Mexico) would be almost impossible.

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