Yaya Toure has joined in criticism of the Carabao Cup match ball, branding it ‘rubbish’ while the EFL have hit back at Pep Guardiola for his comments.
The Manchester City star weighed into the debate following the fourth-round win over Wolves after manager Guardiola said it ‘was not a serious ball for a serious competition’.
However the EFL insist the ball meets all the necessary requirements and have revealed they are keen to speak to Guardiola before the next round of the competition.
Yaya Toure has joined his manager in blasting the Mitre ball used in the Carabao Cup
Toure, pictured taking a free-kick, said the ball was too light and difficult to use
The Ivorian scored his penalty against Wolves despite having to use the Mitre ball
EFL released a statement on the Carabao Cup ball after Guardiola and Toure criticised it
The EFL Cup said: ‘The Mitre ball used in this season’s Carabao Cup is of exactly the same technical specification as the balls used in the Sky Bet EFL and Checkatrade Trophy, all of which are tested in accordance with the “FIFA Quality Programme for Footballs” and meet the “FIFA Quality Pro” standard.
‘All balls used in the professional game are required to meet this standard.
‘Clearly, preference is a subjective matter, but overall the entertainment provided across Tuesday night’s Round Four ties would suggest that the ball used is not having a negative impact in the competition.
‘We will look to engage with Mr Guardiola and Manchester City to fully understand any concerns in advance of their Round Five tie.’
Guardiola had said on the ball: ‘The ball was unacceptable for a high-level competition.
‘It is too light. It moves all over the place. It is not a good ball. It’s impossible to score with a ball like that, and I can say that because we won.
‘I’m not making excuses. All of my players said “what is that?”.
‘I’m sorry, Carabao Cup, it is not a serious ball for a serious competition. It’s marketing, money, OK. But it’s not acceptable. No weight, nothing.
‘One day or two days, but the ball is bad for one year or two years. All the players complain.’
City’s players trained with the Mitre ball on Monday and Toure confirmed that they think it is too light compared to the Nike version favoured by the Premier League. He claimed it would not even be used for games at home in Ivory Coast.
‘I don’t like it, to be honest,’ he said. ‘They can do better than that. It’s too light. Even in my country they can’t use those kind of balls. I think they have to be better than that because the ball was too soft.
‘It’s everything. Shooting, the ball is very light. When you touch it, it’s floating. It’s rubbish. And in this weather, it’s difficult.’
Asked if it is even worse than the much-maligned adidas Jabulani, used for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Toure added: ‘The World Cup one was better than that one.
‘A lot of players were complaining. We just want to enjoy it. It’s difficult to play with these kind of balls, but we try to find a way.’
MITRE DELTA EFL vs NIKE ORDEM V
Mitre Delta EFL
Manufacturer’s description: It is ‘engineered with revolutionary Hyperseam technology for rapid speed, ultimate control and increased durability’.
Features: Bonded seams for protection against water, embossed surface ‘to enhance airflow’, FIFA Quality Pro stamped
Used by: Championship, League One, League Two
Nike Ordem V
Manufacturer’s description: It ‘features Nike Aerowtrac grooves and a micro-textured casing for true flight, accuracy and control’.
Features: 12 panels, ‘fuse-welded’ synthetic leather casing, ‘enhanced’ graphics to aid visibility
Used by: Premier League
Laws of the game – rule 2: The ball
International football rules state the ball should weight 14 to 16oz (400-450g)
The Spanish tactician did not like the weight of the ball and hit out at it after the match
Guardiola said the cup’s Mitre match ball was ‘unacceptable’ for high-level competition
Toure said adidias’ Jabulani ball, which was heavily criticised while being used at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, was better than the Mitre match ball used in the League Cup
City stars prepare for the Wolves clash at their training ground – using Mitre Delta EFL balls