The Chinese soccer team didn't make it to the 2010 World Cup, but there's still a Chinese element in play on the South Africa pitches. The footballs used in the matches were made in China.
This could be a source of pride for Chinese fans, but unfortunately, the balls haven't won favor from players.
Goalkeepers from many countries, including France, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Uruguay, and England have all expressed their dissatisfaction with the balls, complaining it was hard for them to make judgments due to the balls' fast speed and strange twists.
The latest news is that FIFA has begun an investigation into the balls.
Players complaining about the official balls is not new at the World Cup, but this time the issue has been complicated by the "Made in China" angle. Looking at news reports, it's easy to see that many prefer to emphasize that the balls were made in Jiangxi Province, China, rather than blame the provider, adidas.
Jerome Valke, the FIFA secretary general, expressed the official attitude recently, stating that they will talk over the issue with coaches and players who participated in the matches and discuss it with adidas, implying the issue with the footballs lies in the design rather than the quality of manufacture.
Anyway, as the issue is under investigation, who should bear responsibility remains to be seen. However, the role of the balls being made in China has been exaggerated.
Some products made in China certainly need improvement, but that doesn't mean they should endure groundless accusations.
Prejudice against Chinese-made goods shouldn't twist the truth; the low-paid Chinese workers who made the balls need a fair judgment on this issue.