Prime minister hails ‘made in Egypt’ footballs for World Cup
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has praised a Cairo-based co-manufacturer of the official World Cup ball, named Al Rihla (Arabic for “The Journey”), being used at the ongoing tournament in Qatar.
FIFA said in a statement: “It is the 14th ball that Adidas manufactures, and it is characterized by its ability to move in the air faster than any other ball in the history of the tournament.”
Madbouly recently met with representatives of the Forward Egypt company, which participated in the manufacture of the official ball for this year’s World Cup.
He expressed the hope that the venture would boost the national industry to make world-class sports products.
Adidas entered into a contract with Forward Egypt to produce 1,500 soccer balls.
The company’s facility in Egypt is the first and the only Adidas-approved factory in the Middle East.
Saif Al-Waziri, head of the International Presentation and Stadium companies, said: “Egypt is the main export station for the ball that will be used in the Qatar World Cup 2022…I was honored to be a small part of this great achievement.”
In a recent interview with Qatar News Agency, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif also expressed his country’s pride in contributing to the World Cup by co-manufacturing the ball.
Jasser Al-Sayed, head of Forward Egypt, told Arab News: “There are balls in Qatar’s stadiums that are manufactured in our factory in the Rubiki district, east of Cairo, and in the company’s factory in Pakistan.
“We know very well the Pakistani experience in the manufacture of footballs, and that is why we contracted with a Pakistani company to transfer expertise.
“It is one of the largest companies responsible for manufacturing balls in the world, and they transferred expertise, equipment and all the details to us over the past six months, and we were able to implement that in the factory.”
The factory located in Egypt operates with a production capacity of about 3.5 million soccer balls a year.
It employs around 600 workers, all of whom are Egyptians who have been trained “according to the latest systems and experiences in this field, in addition to three foreign experts,” Al-Sayed added.