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Adidas claim altitude not ball design responsible for keeper errors

Altitude is the main factor affecting the World Cup ball and not the design, according to manufacturers adidas. And a spokesman for the company claimed the countries who have had the most problems are those who have not practised enough with the 'Jabulani'.

The ball has been used extensively in Germany's Bundesliga and Major League Soccer in the United States as well as other competitions including the African Nations Cup.

The Jabulani has come in for criticism from players and keepers alike after a number of high-profile errors in the early stages of the tournament.

However, adidas have claimed playing at altitude has more of an effect on the ball and spokesman Thomas Schaikvan blamed some teams for not practising enough with the Jabulani, which was supplied to all countries back in February.

"I wouldn't say I am surprised by the negative reaction; it is customary when there is a new ball that players need to get used to it," Schaikvan, head of global public relations at adidas, told Press Association Sport.

"What is strange is that people are saying the ball is lighter and that is just not true - there are stringent FIFA technical specifications and our standards are significantly tighter than that.

"We don't concentrate on making a faster ball. We want to create a more stable ball.

"But playing at altitude is not the same as playing at sea level - that is just plain science.

"The basic science of a spherical object flying through the air is going to result in 'fluttering' - this is the way the ball moves through the air."

"There are players who play in leagues with other balls, there are players that have not played in the African Nations Cup and players with other federations who have not practised with this ball and those are the players who take the most amount of time to get used to it," added Schaikvan.

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