After the 2022 UEFA Champions League Final was moved from Saint Petersburg, Russia, to Paris, France, manufacturer Adidas has taken the opportunity to redesign the match ball and include a message of peace.
The new match ball was unveiled on Tuesday, May 24 — four days ahead of the match between Liverpool and Real Madrid. It consists of silver star-shaped panels mixed in with white hexagonal panels. At least one of the white panels is inscribed with the word “мир” in Cyrillic, with its English translation (“Peace”) underneath.
“The ball is designed to carry a simple message of peace, belonging, and hope that will be passed from player to player with every kick of the ball and beyond the Stade de France to the furthest corners of the world,” reads Adidas’s news release. “The broader design of the ball is noticeably devoid of colour, featuring pure white panels to symbolise truce and unity.”
The new ball will not be made available for retail sale. Instead, the match ball will be auctioned off following Saturday’s game, with proceeds going to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help people forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution.
The ball originally designed to be used in Saint Petersburg featured white star-shaped panels and depictions of the city’s skyline in the other panels.
The day before the Champions League final, Adidas is organizing an “elite grassroots football tournament” at the Zinedine Zidane Playground in Saint-Denis. This tournament will feature eight teams from the Greater Paris region, each representing a city neighbourhood.