There wouldn’t be a World Cup without Adidas designing a new football that players can complain about. For the 2018 Cup, they introduced the Telstar 18a graphical update of the classic, adapted for black and white television Telstar from 1970. (Until now the guards would hate itfinding the ball unpredictable and slippery.)
Adidas designers chose to place an NFC chip inside the ball. For what? This beats me – in this interview with one of the designers, his explanation is extremely unsatisfactory:
There is a YouTube channel called What’s Inside that looks at the inside of things. In this one, they opened a Telstar 18, then an original Telstar to see the difference:
So far, one, maybe two, of the Telstar 18s have burst during a match, during the France-Australia match. It remains to be seen whether this is an anomaly or whether it will turn into a constant disaster at the Jabulani.