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Jabulani fails the Nasa test

American space agency Nasa has joined the growing list of critics of the official World Cup match ball after subjecting the Jabulani to a series of aerodynamic tests. Analysis compiled by Nasa’s Ames Investigation Centre experts, who specialise in the field of aerodynamics, revealed that the Jabulani becomes unpredictable at speeds in excess 44mph.

Further criticisms voiced by a host of World Cup players, before and during the tournament, of the ball’s inconsistent flight patterns have been attributed to its ultra light weight of just 440 grams which makes it vulnerable to a force known as the ‘knuckle effect’.

Nasa also believe that the effects of altitude could have increased the unpredictability of the ball with most stadiums in South Africa at least 1,000 metres above sea level.

England goalkeeper David James was among the first players to publicly criticise the Jabulani, describing it as ‘dreadful’ and ‘horrible’.

His sentiments were soon echoed by a series of World Cup goalkeepers who quickly discovered that the Jabulani (Zulu for 'celebration') had the potential to embarrass them on football’s biggest stage.

Spain captain Iker Casillas described the Jabulani as ‘appalling’ while Gianluigi Buffon, who guided Italy to the 2006 World Cup, went further by claiming that ‘it is very sad that a competition so important as the World Cup will be played with such a horrible ball.’

Former Liverpool striker Craig Johnston is now an expert in the appliance of science to football equipment and has submitted a 12-page letter of complaint to Fifa president Sepp Blatter regarding the negative effect that the Jabulani has had on the World Cup.

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