World Cup 2010: The Ball Is A Tragedy – Ex-South Africa Goalkeeper Hans Vonk

Vonk has expressed his doubts over claims made regarding the ball to be used in South Africa this summer...
Former Ajax and Heerenveen goalkeeper Hans Vonk, who has previously kept goal for South Africa, has described the ball to be used at this summer’s World Cup as a “tragedy” in an interview with Dutch football publication Voetbal International.

Now plying his trade with Ajax Cape Town in his home country’s top flight – the Premier Soccer League – he has revealed his disdain for the ball, dubbed ‘Jabulani’, which will be used in the 64 games at next summer’s tournament.

“It is claimed the ball holds its line exactly, but in reality it veers off in all directions,” he lamented. “The ball is lighter and there seems to be more plastic used than previously.

"It is a tragedy for goalkeepers."

But the ball is not the only issue that will trouble goalkeepers, Vonk claims. He believes that playing at altitude could cause some goalkeepers chronic problems, especially as some of the stadiums are at lower levels.

“Between the stadiums in Cape Town and Johannesburg, there is a 1,696-metre altitude change,” he said. “If you need your goalkeeper in the World Cup, you should examine the geographical circumstances.”

Vonk recently announced his desire to reclaim a place in the South African side but, by publically airing his concerns about the World Cup ball, he may have done his chances more harm than good.

Robin Bairner,