For the four remaining and, perhaps, the most important matches of the Fifa World Cup 2022, Adidas has unveiled the new ball “Al Hilm” (The Dream). It will replace “Al Rihla” (The Journey) as the tournament’s official ball.
Al Hilm will be used to play the semi-finals between Argentina and Croatia on December 14 and France and Morocco on December 15. Later, the play-off to decide the third position on the podium on December 17, and ultimately, the final match on December 18 will also be played using Al Hilm.
The ball uses the same “connected ball” technology as Al Rihla, which assists the match officials in determining offsides and other decisions, Fifa said.
“Combined with player position data, the innovation offers Video Match Officials instant data, to help optimize decision-making for a seamless fan experience. By combining the ball data captured by IMU sensors within the ball and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology supports the semi-automated offside system, especially by providing the exact moment the ball is played in tight offside situations,” it said in a blog post on Sunday.
“The data from the ball unlocks new insights for storytelling around the unique moments on the pitch at this World Cup,” said Johannes Holzmüller, Director of Football Technology & Innovation at Fifa.
The ball is only made up of water-based inks and glues.
“We wish all teams involved in the final stages of the tournament the best of luck as they compete on the largest stage that football has to offer,” said Nick Craggs, general manager of Football at Adidas.