African Cup of Nations official match ball outdoored

Official kit sponsor adidas and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) presented a newly designed official match ball – this time it is the adidas ‘Comoequa’, the Official Match Ball for the 2012 Orange African Cup of Nations. The name takes its inspiration from the Como River which runs through both host nations – Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and the Equator which runs throughout Africa and units both host nations.

The adidas Comoequa features a bright yellow base colour inspired by the vibrancy of African culture, and links to the flags of both tournament hosts – Gabon and Equatorial Guinea through colour markings on the central triangular panels. The adidas Comoequa, shares the same construction as the Tango 12, the Official Match Ball for the UEFA Euro 2012™, and is the third ball adidas has produced for the tournament, having started as the Official Supplier of the African Cup of Nations in 2008.

Complementing the design, the adidas Comoequa features a series of triangular panels that are thermally bonded together to ensure a true, stable flight path. Covering each panel of the ball is a grip texture which supports boot to ball contact and enhances ball control. Beneath the outer surface of the ball lies a woven carcass and a new bladder for increased air retention and reduced water uptake.

Testing is key for enhancement

Every time we bring out a new ball there is also some controversy – is the ball flying straight, is it too light, too small? – just to mention some of the questions we are always getting.
And we can tell you one thing for sure: No, it is neither too light, nor too small because it always passes a rigorous testing and it exceeds all FIFA Approved Standards.

However, we also set our own standards which are even stricter than FIFA’s are. We test all different aspects such as the roundness of the ball, its weight and whether it absorbs water and therewith changes its playing characteristics throughout a game (by the way: no, it doesn’t). Another test we do is about accuracy.

There is a robotic leg in our test centre in Herzogenaurach which hits the ball again and again on a goal distance of 22 meters. With this robotic leg you can reproduce any shot as often as you want. Its execution will always be exactly the same – leg and foot angles will not vary by any degree. With the robotic leg and high-speed cameras we are able to analyse the ball’s exact flight characteristics.