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adidas presents the first official Match Ball for the African Cup of Nations: the “wawa aba”

Accra (Ghana)/Herzogenaurach, October 19th, 2007 – Today, adidas took the opportunity of the draw for the MTN Africa Cup of Nations 2008 in Ghana to present the first Official Match Ball for the Cup, the adidas “wawa aba”. In addition to the match balls for the FIFA World Cup™ and the UEFA EURO™, adidas thus now also supplies the ball for the Championship on the African continent.

The adidas “wawa aba“ combines tradition and innovation and stands out due to its exceptionally strong colouring. The Official Match Ball clearly features the national colours of Ghana (red/yellow/green) – host of the MTN Africa Cup of Nations 2008 – and complements the design with historical and cultural elements of Africa. For the Akan culture originating from Western Africa the name “wawa aba” is a symbol of persistence. People there particularly believe in the strength and team spirit of a community. The wawa aba is the seed of the wawa tree, one of the strongest and most processible woods of Africa. For the population, the wawa aba mainly has mystical significance. These are people who don’t let failure discourage them, who seize all opportunities successfully and who are thus just as strong and adaptable as the wawa aba.

“In recent years, football in Africa experienced outstanding growth and the Africa Cup has become one of the most important continental championships worldwide. Therefore, we are pleased that the African Cup of Nations is now also played with a specially designed adidas Ball. This impressively underlines our position as the number one football brand on all continents”, said Erich Stamminger, President and CEO of the adidas brand.

“During the past few years, adidas and the Confederation of African Football have continuously expanded their relationship and in the course of time our partnership has reached an exceptional level. The Match Ball specifically designed for the Africa Cup adds a new dimension to the excellent cooperation with adidas. Our company and the entire football community of Africa are proud of the magnificent “wawa aba”, the first Official Match Ball for the MTN Africa Cup of Nations featuring a design inspired by African elements,” said Issa Hayatou, CAF President.

With this activity, adidas is adding another component to its engagement in Africa. In addition to its involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, adidas is the Official Supplier of nine African nations: Nigeria, South Africa, Burundi, Eritrea, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, the Seychelles and Swasiland.