JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – Taken aback by calls for the introduction of video technology into football, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has declared that the rest of the World Cup will be contested with an original 1930 World Cup ball in order to re-emphasize “the timeless purity of the game.”
The “Tiento” replaces the so-called “Jubalani”, the Adidas ball which was designed and tested with internal robotic kicking inside a wind tunnel at England’s Loughborough University and approved by FIFA for this World Cup.
Nearly twice as heavy as the “Jubalani”, two inches wider in diameter and liable to deflate in the middle of games, the “Tiento” was one of two balls used at the 1930 World Cup final between Argentina and Uruguay, and played on Uruguay’s home soil.
“It has come to my attention that FIFA sanctioned a ball for the 2010 tournament that involved the application of modern technology and physics. It is unacceptable given that football is a game that should never change or evolve,” Blatter explained. “As a result, I have requested a return to the 1930 ball, which is actually just a pig bladder manually pumped with air.”
Blatter denied the change of balls would affect the World Cup: “Football is always the same, everywhere it is played. A ball is just a ball,” adding the “Tiento” would be put on the mass market and introduced at all levels after the tournament.
Teams expressed concern that the 80-year-old pig bladder would drastically alter play. Seen practicing his kicks with the “Tiento,” Cristino Ronaldo was unable to reach the net from more than twelve yards out.
Diego Maradonna’s Argentina squad was already said to have worked out several set pieces which take advantage of the “Tiento’s” soft surface. Lionel Messi was seen running around at full speed with the ball planted on the side of his head – a maneuver other players were unsure they could duplicate.