The official match ball for the semi-finals and final clash of the FIFA World Cup has been unveiled by adidas, FIFA announced in a statement on Sunday.
The ball named Al Hilm, which means The Dream in Arabic, will replace Al Rihla, the official match ball used in the tournament so far.
Al Hilm features the ‘Connected Ball’ technology similar to its predecessor, which aids semi-automated offside decisions.
“Combined with player position data, the innovation offers video match officials instant data, to help optimise decision making for a seamless fan experience. By combining the ball data captured by IMU sensors within the ball and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology supports the semi-automated offside system, especially by providing the exact moment the ball is played in tight offside situations,” FIFA said in a statement.
The Al Hilm ball is the first FIFA World Cup semi-finals and final ball made using only water-based inks and glues.
FIFA added that the design is set on a textured gold base colour, which features a subtle triangular pattern, drawing inspiration from the deserts that surround Doha, the colour of the FIFA World Cup trophy, and the pattern of the Qatar flag.
The FIFA World Cup final will be played on December 18, coinciding with Qatar National Day.