Militant Mullahs from around the world have promised crippling Fatwas over the FIFA decision to introduce a new 8 panel soccer ball to the FIFA world cup starting in South Africa this month and culminating with the championship game July 11 in Johannesburg.
The new ball named the 'jo'bulani' translates from the Zulu language meaning 'to celebrate' but doesn't seem to have the Mullahs jumping for joy.
Word from Iran is that the number 8 is conceived in the Covenant with God which dictates a child will be circumcised on his 8th day in keeping with the Christian faith.
In 2006 the official soccer ball had 14 panels and was titled the 'Teamgeist', this too was down from the original configuration of 32 panels to make up a perfect sphere, but now the Mullahs want recognition for Allah, saying the ball must have 786 panels to reflect the number of days it was said Allah created the world and incidentally created Soccer.
The Chinese say they love the new ball, as 8 is one of their most 'auspicious' numbers that figures prominently in all their fortune cookies.
'The Boys from Brazil' also like the number 8, especially when expressed as
'88' a code for Heil Hitler, 'H" being the 8th letter in the German alphabet.
Most futbol players said they didn't really give a rat's ass how many panels were on the ball, "Listen Mate,"said one English Star, 'they're paying me $200,000 a week and I'm shaggin' all the ass I can handle....32,14,8...lay it on the pitch and I'll kick the shit out of it...name of the game, innit? If I really cared about that kind of stuff, I'd be playing badminton, wouldn't I?"
The current evolution of the soccer ball currently has 5 components, the casing, the stitching, the ling and the bladder, and modern technology has produced new, better, and longer lasting materials for the ball.
Synthetic leather, one of the best is Ducksung, coming from Korea, polyester or cotton linings, and a latex or butyl bladder has supplanted the early days where balls were constructed from animal parts with the most popular bladders coming from Portsmouth, England from expired Sailors who had been known to really be able to 'hold their water.'
Now, as in the new approved ball, seams are thermally bonded for durability, thereby eliminating delays during a game when a seamstress was on hand and called on to provide a 'stitch in time' so the game could continue.
The modern vulcanized soccer ball was invented by an American, Charles Goodyear in 1800, after which Charlie and the rest of America promptly forgot about Futbol, preferring just to bank the residuals rather then get bogged down in tribal warfare, rioting, and shootouts to determine outcomes of games.
Regardless, multimillions of footie crazed fans will be watching in person, on the telly listening on the radio as some of the best world teams kick the 27-28" round ball inflated to approximately 8.5-15.6 PSI and weighing between 14-16 ounces around the South African continent.
Meanwhile, all the Mullahs will be forced to stay at home, since none of the countries professing the Muslim Faith qualified for the Cup.
As one soccer fan from West Virginia commented, "Now ain't that a kick in the ass....Allah just couldn't get a leg over on an even playing field!"