At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, one of the talking points before and after the event was the Official match ball, the “Jabulani” (meaning, celebrate in Zulu). It came in for an enormous amount of criticism, with some claiming that the ball was too light and unpredictable in flight. Interestingly an earlier version of the ball had been used in January that year in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, where the Jabulani-Angola was the competition match ball. However, there was little criticism of the ball during that tournament. It may have been that issues were caused when the ball was modified for the World Cup. It may have been the altitude in South Africa. Or could the fact that once some starting complaining, a (possibly unfounded) seed of doubt was planted in players minds about the Jabulani?
For the 2012 Orange Africa Cup of Nations, the “Comoequa” has been used. As with the choice of name for the tournament mascot (Gaguie), there is a simple reasoning to the match ball name. “Comoequa” originates from the River Como and the Equator, both of which pass through co-hosts, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. It’s a colourful ball to say the least, as it is mainly yellow and features some of the colours from the flags of both co-hosts. In terms of performance, there doesn’t seem to have been any complaints from the players and from the games I have watched it doesn’t appear to have behaved in any peculiar way at all. What do they say about a poor workman?