West Brom first-team coach Gerry Francis and Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder have their say on the EFL ball row
The English Football League will discuss Pep Guardiola’s criticism of its
Mitre ball with him after the Manchester City manager claimed it was
City and Championship club Wolves played with the ball in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie at the Etihad Stadium, when the hosts needed a penalty shoot-out to advance to the quarter-finals after a goalless 120 minutes.
Speaking after the game, Guardiola, whose team play with Nike and Adidas balls in the Premier League and Champions League respectively, lambasted the Mitre Delta, suggesting it was “not a serious ball for a professional game”.
The EFL released a statement on Tuesday defending the ball and adding it would converse with Guardiola over his complaints.
The statement read: “The Mitre ball used in this season’s Carabao Cup is of exactly the same technical specification as the balls used in the Sky Bet EFL and Checkatrade Trophy, all of which are tested in accordance with the ‘FIFA Quality Programme for Footballs’ and meet the ‘FIFA Quality Pro’ standard.
“All balls used in the professional game are required to meet this standard.
“Clearly, preference is a subjective matter, but overall the entertainment provided across last night’s round-four ties would suggest that the ball used is not having a negative impact in the competition.
“We will look to engage with Mr Guardiola and Manchester City to fully understand any concerns in advance of their round-five tie.”