Introducing an African football

28 November 2008

The 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup will feature a tailor-made ball, called “Kopanya”, which Adidas has designed specifically for the event, and which reflects and pays tribute to tournament hosts South Africa.

The ball made its first appearance in the Nelson Mandela Challenge match between South Africa and Cameroon in Rustenburg on 19 November.

Bafana Bafana must have taken a liking to the ball; they turned in one of their best performances in years to beat Africa’s top-ranked side 3-2.

Inspired by Ndebele artwork

“Kopanya” means “join together” in Sesotho, or Southern Sotho, the home language of about five-million South Africans.

Kopanya’s eye-catching design was inspired by the artwork of the Ndebele people of southern Africa. It won’t be the first time that Ndebele artwork will be seen on the international sporting stage; the yacht of Team Shosholoza, South Africa’s America’s Cup challenger, features a design inspired by Ndebele and Zulu artwork.

The complex shapes and black contours, traditional Ndebele elements, have been fused with the colourful vibrancy that typifies modern Ndebele artists. A silver sheen provides a futuristic touch.

Comments about the ball, posted on the website Footballshirtculture.com, were very favourable.

Suited to its surroundings

Dave Stopher commented: “That is nice!! I must admit that this ball is very suiting for its surroundings, I think. I hope the World Cup ball is similar in design.”

Jon said: “I’m from SA and I’m impressed by this ball’s design … Yes, it’s a regular Teamgeist ball but the pattern is cleverly worked on.”

The ball, says Adidas, provides perfect flight characteristics and allows players exceptional ball control, like its predecessor the “Europass”, which was used in Euro 2008.

Kopanya will be available for purchase from 1 December.

Source: SAinfo reporter and Fifa.com

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