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England's stars missed out on the chance to practise with the controversial Jabulani ball ahead of the World Cup because a consignment of 25 sent to the FA went missing, according to a report from The Daily Mirror.

Manufacturers Adidas sent the consignment to Wembley in February. Although the delivery was signed for, the FA apparently has no idea where the balls went.

This meant that Fabio Capello's squad only started training with the ball at their pre-tournament training camp in Austria, in contrast to Friday's opponents Algeria.

The North Africans have been training with the ball for months and even asked for extra supplies in March to help their players further.

The Jabulani has been branded as the "worst ball ever" by England coach Fabio Capello, whilst Three Lions goalkeeper Robert Green blamed it for his howler that handed the USA an equaliser in England's opening game.

All 32 competing nations were supplied with the ball in February according to FIFA regulations. Slovernia and Switzerland, along with Algeria, asked Adidas for extra supplies.

The ball was also presented to coaches, who were briefed on how it had reacted in tests, at a seminar in Sun City in February.

"The Football Associations of all 32 countries competing in the World Cup were sent 25 balls in February," an Adidas spokesman said, according to The Mirror.

"I can confirm that a consignment of 25 balls were delivered to England at Wembley Stadium in February."

The Jabulani was used at the African Cup of Nations earlier this year and no complaints were received.

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