History of the ball: A football, soccer ball, or association football ball is the ball used in the sport of association football. The name of the ball varies according to whether the sport is called “football”, “soccer”, or “association football”. The ball’s spherical shape, as well as its size, weight, and material composition, are specified by Law 2 of the Laws of the Game maintained by the International Football Association Board. Additional, more stringent, standards are specified by FIFA and subordinate governing bodies for the balls used in the competitions they sanction.

Early footballs began as animal bladders or stomachs that would easily fall apart if kicked too much. Improvements became possible in the 19th century with the introduction of rubber and discoveries of Vulcanization by Charles Goodyear. The modern 32-panel ball design was developed in 1962 by Eigil Nielsen, and technological research continues today to develop footballs with improved performance.

Sialkot is a town in eastern Pakistan which is the indisputable soccer ball capital of the world. Sialkot’s origins as a hub of soccer ball-production date back to British colonial times, when Britons eager to play soccer grew impatient waiting for shipments of balls to arrive by sea. In 1889, a British sergeant asked a Sialkoti saddlemaker to repair his punctured soccer ball, and, pleased with the results, put in an order for a batch of balls to be made. Production took off from there: By 1982, Sialkot-produced balls were used in the World Cup and still are today, as Sialkot produced the official match ball of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The 2014 FIFA World Cup footballs were also made in Sialkot.