Ball causes WC keeper problems
The ball set to be used at the World Cup has come under criticism from David James and Mark Schwarzer.
By Danny Wright
Last Updated: 02/06/10 4:41pm
The ball to be used at the World Cup finals has come under more criticism from England stopper David James and Australia's Mark Schwarzer.
The 'Jabulani' has faced fire from all quarters by teams preparing for the South Africa showpiece in friendly matches, with complaints about the flight and weight of the ball.
The altitude of some of the venues in South Africa is said to have added to the problem.
Spain and Italy goalkeepers Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon have already voiced concern, and Premier League duo James and Schwarzer have now added their voice to their debate.
James, expected to be included in Fabio Capello's starting XI for England's Group C opener against the USA, described it as 'horrible'.
He said: "The ball is dreadful. It's horrible, but it's horrible for everyone. You saw from Frank (Lampard)'s free-kick in the first half against Japan which dipped wickedly, so it'll be interesting."
Schwarzer also said the flight path of the ball was causing problems, with the 37-year-old Fulham man telling Fox Sports: "Obviously it's quite unpredictable, the way the ball flies.
"Sometimes the ball has a genuine flight and other times it has a mind of its own so it has taken time to adjust and it will take us time still now."
Worries over the equipment to be used for the tournament surfaced when Buffon said the ball was 'unpredictable', while Casillas echoed similar thoughts.
Outfield players have also said the ball is difficult to control, but James fears it will be keepers that experience most difficulty when the competition gets underway on 11th June.
He added: "There are undoubtedly going to be some goals scored in this tournament which in previous tournaments, with different balls, wouldn't have been scored.
"It'll allow people to score extra goals, but leave some goalkeepers looking daft."
Schwarzer said he experienced difficulty in his side's 1-0 friendly win over Denmark on Tuesday, which came courtesy of Josh Kennedy's untidy effort.
The Socceroos were able to keep their 13th clean sheet fin their past 19 matches, but their keeper complained of difficulties with set-pieces and pass-backs.
One misjudged kick nearly handed the Danes a goal, and Schwarzer said the ball will take time to get used to.
He added: "We have got to use this time between now and the first game on the 13th (against Germany), where we are playing at sea level, to hopefully get used to the flight of the ball a little bit better and make things easier for ourselves.
"But the one thing you can't do is get frustrated because that is one thing that can happen very quickly (as a goalkeeper) if you are not holding the ball like you normally would if you are coming out for a cross and misjudging it.
"So you have to stay calm and probably hold your run a bit longer and then go a bit later, but it can be difficult because sometimes the ball (comes in) very, very quick as well."