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SWC ball named 'Brazuca'

03 September 2012, 08:04

Sao Paulo - Brazilians have decided to name the 2014 Soccer World Cup ball "Brazuca," an informal word often used to describe national pride in the South American nation.

FIFA said on Sunday more than one million people voted to select the ball's name, with 70 percent picking the term.

Football's governing body said the name "symbolizes emotion, pride and goodwill to all," mirroring Brazil's "approach to football."

"Brazuca" is also often used as the nickname given to Brazilians living outside the country, including the hundreds of footballers playing abroad.

Adidas, the official World Cup ball supplier since 1970, said two other names had made the final list - Bossa Nova and Carnavalesca. The voting had been open to the public for the past three weeks.

FIFA said it was the first time fans were directly involved in the naming of the World Cup ball, which is still being developed and tested with several clubs and associations worldwide.

"I'm delighted that Brazilian football fans have had the opportunity to play their part in deciding the name of one of the event's most important symbols," FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said. "I'm sure that the Brazuca ball will go down in history together with other iconic FIFA World Cup balls, such as the 'Tango' in Argentina in 1978 and the 'Azteca' in Mexico in 1986."

In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the ball was called "Jabulani", from the Zulu word meaning "to celebrate." Although the name was widely popular, the ball itself was heavily criticised by players and coaches during the tournament because it swerved too much and was blamed for several goalkeeping mishaps.

Adidas completely redesigned the "Tango 12" ball for the 2012 European Championship. The ball for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine was based on the classic Tango design used in the 1980s.

The ball was called "Teamgeist" in 2006 in Germany and "Fevernova" in 2002 in South Korea and Japan. The ball at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico was called "Telstar."

The "Brazuca" likely will be the first World Cup ball equipped with goal-line technology, which will be introduced by FIFA at the seven-team Club World Cup in Japan in December. FIFA's goal is to have the mechanism fully tested ahead of next year's Confederations Cup, which will also take place in Brazil.

Sunday's announcement of the World Cup ball was made by former Brazil captain Cafu during a local sports television program.

- AP


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