The FIFA Women’s World Cup is now just six months away, and fans finally know the official match ball.
Nicknamed “OCEAUNZ,” it is the ninth successive ball produced by Adidas. However, it maintains some of the same technology from previous balls at the men’s and Women’s World Cups. For example, a CTR core allows for consistency, while the Speedshell improved aerodynamics. Then, the connected ball technology from a suspended sensor in the ball provides all the stats fans crave.
The ball arrived in Sydney today, the location of the final. However, rather than going to Syndney Stadium, the location of the Final, it wound up on Bondi Beach. It is, after all, still summer down under.
In terms of the aesthetics, the ball takes inspiration from the mountains of New Zealand and the waters of Australia. It featured designs by Aboriginal artist Chern’ee Sutton and Māori artist Fiona Collis.
FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura wanted the ball to embrace the inclusivity that FIFA aims for.
“adidas has created an iconic Official Match Ball for the FIFA Women’s World Cup that reflects diversity, inclusivity and togetherness, fitting themes for the first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup to be co-hosted by two different countries from different confederations,” Samoura wrote. “This edition of the tournament will be extremely special and the rich cultures of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, as evoked on OCEAUNZ, are certain to take the experience of visiting fans and teams #BeyondGreatness.”
The name of the ball, OCEAUNZ, is part of that inclusivity. It represents Australia (AU) and New Zealand (NZ) coming together.
Women’s World Cup ball for Australia and New Zealand
This is the first Women’s World Cup to take place in the southern hemisphere. It is also the first to include the same number of teams as the men’s competition, 32. Therefore, it is a time of change for women’s soccer and the Women’s World Cup.
The competition kicks off on July 20 when New Zealand battles 1995 Women’s World Cup champions Norway. Australia is in action against Ireland later that day. Coverage in the United States is available through FOX Sports.
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