Reuters

Making a World Cup ball

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An employee adjusts outer panels of a soccer ball inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, Punjab province, Pakistan May 16, 2014. It was when he felt the roar of the crowd at the 2006 World Cup in Germany that Pakistani factory owner Khawaja Akhtar first dreamed up a goal of his own: to manufacture the ball for the biggest soccer tournament on the planet. Last...

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Employees work in the production area inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, Punjab province May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Sara Farid

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Khawaja Masood Akhtar, CEO of Forward Sports which manufactures the official World Cup ball, talks to Reuters during an interview at its factory in Sialkot May 16, 2014. His factory in eastern Pakistan had made balls for the German Bundesliga, French league and Champions League, but he had never snagged a World Cup contract. When Akhtar heard that Adidas' Chinese supplier for the World Cup couldn't keep up with demand, he...

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An employee collects ball panels from a machine that applies adhesive at the edges inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, Punjab province May 16, 2014. In the past 40 years, Akhtar's own family business, called Forward, has grown from 50 men to 1,400 employees. Unusually for Pakistan, nearly a quarter of them are women. Almost all say they are the first woman in...

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An employee adjusts outer panels on a soccer ball inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, Punjab province May 16, 2014. The firm's previous investment in thermal bonding technology paid off. Only thermally bonded balls - made using a glue that reacts with heat - are round enough for the World Cup's strict standards. REUTERS/Sara Farid

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An employee conducts the final check to fix any cavity in the seams of a ball inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, Punjab province May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Sara Farid

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An employee uses hot air as she sticks outer panels on a soccer ball inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, Punjab province May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Sara Farid

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An employee checks the shape of a ball inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, Punjab province May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Sara Farid

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Employees work near official 2014 World Cup balls at the final stage of their quality check inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for the World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, Punjab province May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Sara Farid

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An employee conducts a final check to fix any cavity in the seams of a ball inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, Punjab province May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Sara Farid

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An employee takes finished balls out of the production area inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, Punjab province May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Sara Farid

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Belgium's national soccer team player Adnan Januzaj plays with a ball during a training session in Genk, Belgium May 19, 2014. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

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France's national soccer team players Mathieu Debuchy (L) and Patrice Evra play with soccer balls during a training session in Clairefontaine, near Paris. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

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