As the World Cup draws ever closer, players and staff alike have been complaining about FIFA's new balls.
England keeper David James complained; "FIFA's balls are completely out of control; they bounce everywhere and are very slippery when wet". However, he added: "I must admit though, FIFA's balls do feel really good in my hands, on my chest and even on my head".
In the wake of the bad press, FIFA has defended its new balls. "Since we released our balls I can't stop playing with them" said FIFA president Seth Blatter. He urged people to keep playing with them. "Hold our balls, rub our balls, feel our balls, I'm sure you'll eventually like them as much as we do".
However, Blatter admitted there were problems. "Our balls perform well in both dry and very wet conditions, but do shrink when cold, can become slightly smelly if not cleaned regularly and also become very sticky if you play with them too much".
Blatter denied rumours that FIFA's balls do not perform well when being kicked or punched. "That's just nuts," he said. "There's nothing in the world like getting our balls out and playing with them" Blatter has challenged anyone with concerns to come and feel FIFA's balls for themselves. "Our balls are OK; we're proud of them and are extremely excited that so many people will be playing with our balls this summer, it's a real chance for us to show them off".
FIFA plans to release its balls at female football tournaments later in the year as a trial run to see if the women can also handle their balls. A spokeswoman for women's football says the ladies "can't wait" to get their hands on the balls.