The Ligue de Football Professionnel in France has unveiled the new match balls that will be used in its top two leagues, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, during the 2022-23 season — the first of a new deal with KIPSTA, a brand owned by French sports retailer Decathlon.
The balls are mostly white with a pattern of irregular shapes that follow the contours of the ball’s panels. On the Ligue 1 ball, these shapes are coloured royal blue, navy blue and red, while on the Ligue 2 ball, they are navy, teal and orange.
“For the Ligue 1 Uber Eats ball, two strong values stand out in the graphic design: intensity and rivalry,” the Ligue 1 website reads. “Emblematic of this collective sport, the fervour that emanates from the greatest rivalries is represented on each side of the ball by some of the legendary clashes that have written the history of the championship.” It adds that the coloring on the Ligue 1 ball “reminds us that for the first time, a French company has been named as the official supplier of footballs for the French football elite.”
Meanwhile, the Ligue 2 ball “offers a more graphic style reflecting the constant and permanent evolution of football in fashion and trends. From the tip of Finistère to the Isle of Beauty, from the Aquitaine region to the lines of the Grand Est, the ball honours the geography and borders of the territory — the story behind the ball.”
Both balls are made up of 12 textured polyurethane panels that are heat-bonded together for “better sphericity and resistance.” The “High Rebound Advanced” bladder offers “optimum sphericity, pressure resistance and rebound quality.”
The new Ligue 2 ball will be used for the first time when their season kicks off on July 30. The Ligue 1 ball will first be used in the Trophée des Champions match between Paris Saint-Germain (2021-22 Ligue 1 champions) and Nantes FC (2021-22 Coupe de France winners) on July 31.
Ligue 1 has most recently used balls manufactured by German company Uhlsport.
Decathlon is offering four different versions of the new balls at retail: the official version, priced at €80; the “club” version, priced at €45; the replica version, priced at €25; and a mini version priced at €8.
Decathlon has 324 stores in Frances and more than 1,700 worldwide, including locations in Italy, India, China, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Thailand.