Cech concerned by Euro 2008 ball

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From the BBC News Desk

Czech Republic's Petr Cech is the latest goalkeeper to criticise the new Euro 2008 ball.

The 26-year-old Chelsea keeper feels the ball is difficult to judge because it deviates so much in flight.

He said: "The new ball is really unpredictable. We will see lots of goals from 30 metres out.

"The balls are so quick, they have scarcely any wind resistance and they can change direction any second, also in the last five metres."

He told Rotweiss, the online magazine of the Swiss Football Association: "It therefore won't help at all to see the ball coming from a distance."

Cech added: "And the TV commentators will again say 'what was the goalkeeper doing there? He surely got his hand to it'."

Croatia keeper Stipe Pletikosa joined the chorus of concern, saying: "Those balls are going all over the place, changing direction all the time, especially if fired from a distance."

Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar, who will be goal for Holland, said: "They are not designing balls for goalkeepers."

And Portugal's Ricardo added: "Everything that is new in football today is to hurt us. Nothing is done for our benefit."

Germany keeper Jens Lehmann has previously voiced concerns over the ball ahead of the tournament, which starts on Saturday, saying: "You have to be brave to try to hold onto the ball. You really have to be happy just to stop it from going in."

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