MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) --
Football governing body FIFA has announced that a new ball will
be used for the knockout phase of the World Cup in Russia.
The Adidas Telstar
Mechta will replace the Telstar 18 used during the group stage
of football’s biggest tournament, FIFA said on Tuesday.
The new red design
reflects the host nation’s colors and the “rising heat” of the
second half of the competition, it said, adding that the ball
will be used for the first time on Saturday.
“The Telstar 18 was
a huge step forward technically when it came to official match
balls,” Adidas vice president of products Dean Lokes said. “With
the Telstar Mechta we have taken that same innovative design and
Each ball will be
fitted with a near-field communication chip, allowing for
interaction by smart phone users, according to FIFA.