This week-end's action in LaLiga was initially overshadowed by the cancellation of the Barcelona-Real Madrid game but ended up with a dose of surrealism: the hiz-viz winter ball is difficult for us all to see. Apart from the general consensus that the ball is quite ugly, it's difficult to make out in the stands and just as difficult to follow watching games on television. The predominantly pink ball with blue and yellow details seems to be camouflaged in the background of the green pitch and at times is impossible to pick out. The overall image is not good for LaLiga who late on Sunday night issued a statement confirming the ball will only now be used for games of extreme weather conditions.
Chimpanzee on drugs
The idea of a coloured ball is certainly valid when a game is being played with snowy conditions and currently in Spain these are scarce. This gave way to the initiative to have both a winter ball and a summer ball, with some claiming this is just a marketing ploy to sell more replica balls. A negative in the game over the past few years has been an over proliferation of new shirts with all sorts of colour combinations and constant new balls every season and it's maybe possible that we've reached a point where reasonable variants are now almost exhausted. Some while ago, an English colleague of mine Andrew Shields claimed that: “modern football shirts appear to be the work of a chimpanzee on drugs”. I wouldn't go that far myself but there seems to be a growing number of truly outlandish designs appearing on the market.
Let it snow
Before issuing the communique I was told by LaLiga that they were "on the case" in resolving the problem created by the new winter ball. This will be tricky with Puma having already of delivered thousands of balls to stores around the world and having to deal with the fall-out will be far from easy. Obviously LaLiga would have had to approve the design before the ball was put into manufacturing and that is a counter argument that Puma will use. Both sides will need to utilise mutual humility as withdrawing the ball will inevitably lead to a drastic loss in sales but it would be worse to insist that there is no problem with this 'Pink Alert' ball. A ball that is difficult to follow is terrible for the game. Let's keep this one for the days when it snows, if it ever does again given the unpredictability of the weather nowadays.