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England denied practice with new World Cup ball due to Nike sponsorship deal… but rivals Germany and Spain will train with it

Gareth Southgate's squad will only have one match to get used to feel of ball being used at Russia 2018 because it is made by rivals Adidas

England will have just one match to get used to the new World Cup ball before tournament begins this summer.

The Football Association’s lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike means the Three Lions are unable to get accustomed to the Adidas Telstar model until their final warm-up match.

England were forced to use a Nike ball when they took on Holland last week

PA:Press Association
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England were forced to use a Nike ball when they took on Holland last week

That means Gareth Southgate’s side potentially risk being at a disadvantage to some of their rivals at Russia 2018 who are already using the ball in friendly matches.


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Germany and Spain have already been using the new ball in their fixtures over the international break.

But when England faced Italy at Wembley last night they still used the Nike Ordem V ball that is currently in use in the Premier League.

It is the last match Southgate has before he names his squad to take to the World Cup – and the Nike ball will also be used in the friendly against Nigeria on June 2.

The Telstar by Adidas will be the official ball used in the World Cup in Russia

Getty - Contributor
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The Telstar by Adidas will be the official ball used in the World Cup in Russia

Portugal were able to use the World Cup ball when they faced Holland - but England will get just once chance to get used to it

Getty - Contributor
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Portugal were able to use the World Cup ball when they faced Holland – but England will get just once chance to get used to it

That is because the terms of the £34million-a-year deal with Nike means they have to use their balls as well as wear their kit.

The American sportswear firm have given permission for the Telstar to be used in the final warm-up game before the tournament begins – the clash with Costa Rica at Elland Road on June 7.

But that will be the only chance the England squad have to get used to how the ball plays in match action before their World Cup challenge begins.

When they played Holland last week, because they also have a deal with Nike it meant the Adidas ball was not allowed to be used.

However, Nike backed Portugal did use the World Cup ball when they were beaten 3-0 by the Dutch on Monday night.

Because Nike have invested so much money over their 12-year deal with the FA, it has meant they are looking to get maximum exposure from their partnership.


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England have even had to use the Nike balls in training whenever the cameras are present

Alamy Live News
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England have even had to use the Nike balls in training whenever the cameras are present

That means even training sessions when television cameras and photographers are there, the squad have to use the Nike balls.

But it is understood when the press is not in attendance, the squad have been spending time getting used to the flight of the new model.

The main concern with any new ball launch is with goalkeepers, who have in the past found some balls move and swerve more than others.


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