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Have you ever taken a brief moment to think about where soccer balls are made?
Well, I certainly have!
You see, over the years I’ve developed a subconscious habit of checking where a product originates from.
I believe it’s something that consumers are pre-conditioned to check prior to making a purchase these days.
After all, we all want to buy things that are of high quality which we can trust to last for a long period of time.
So, in this article I’ll be covering the locations where these cherished objects are produced.
Let’s start with a quick summary…
Soccer balls are primarily made within the Asian continent, as countries such as Pakistan, India, Indonesia and China account for a significant percentage of their production on a global scale.
I’ll now reveal more information about each of the aforementioned countries when it comes to the topic of soccer ball manufacturing.
Countries where most soccer balls are made
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to that an Asian nation is once again responsible for most of the output of a particular product.
Start with a company like Apple – where its largest manufacturing plant is based in Zhengzhou, China.
Or another example being the laptop juggernaut Hewlett Packard, who have most of their computers made in the Chinese cities of Chongqing and Kunshan.
And again, look at the sneaker giant – Nike!
They have China and Vietnam produce the vast majority of their footwear.
Related article – top 4 Nike balls
A big reason for why many of these huge organisations choose to have their production facilities in these countries is due to the low cost of labour.
Anyway, I’m sure you can clearly see the pattern.
Now, let’s dive back into the topic of soccer ball production.
According to a report on the use of child labour for soccer ball production written by the Labour Rights organisation, approximately 75 percent of the world’s soccer balls are produced in the country of Pakistan.
The Business Insider backs up that estimate as well, as state that the city of Sialkot accounts for 70 percent of global soccer ball assembly, with at least 1,000 factories employing a sum of nearly 60,000 people.
Ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, this nation was responsible for the export of more than 37 million soccer balls, which gives you a good indication of the sort of volumes that they are able to put out.
Think about every aspect of the creation process for a soccer ball, from the sourcing of the rubber to the stitching of the black and white hexagons and pentagons together to form the complete spherical ball shape.
This country is the second largest producer of soccer balls in the world, just behind Pakistan.
However, in 2018 they were overtaken by China who managed to supply more soccer balls to European nations that placed massive orders for promotional purposes.
What this shows is that India’s influence within soccer ball manufacturing – especially when it comes to winning those extremely lucrative production contracts – is declining as the years go by.
Indonesia is another country that accounts for a much smaller percentage of global soccer ball production.
Nike and Adidas have a production footprint here, and even the likes of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are known to use garment and textile manufacturers from this country.
Why are soccer balls mostly made in Pakistan?
As you’ve seen earlier on in the article, Pakistan dominates this industrial segment.
But why is this the case?
Read on to find out.
Well first of all, the city of Sialkot’s origins as a soccer ball production hub point towards the colonial past.
At this time, the British people who enjoyed playing the sport had grown impatient waiting for shipments of soccer balls to arrive by sea.
So, in the year 1989, one British sergeant ordered a Sialkot saddle maker to stitch up a punctured soccer ball and, when he was satisfied with the outcome of the repair work, batch production simply kicked off from there.
Pakistan has managed to hold onto its spot as the primary producer of soccer balls over the years due to the low production costs involved.
The low cost of labour certainly makes it worthwhile.
A hand-stitched ball made in a factory in Pakistan is cheaper to put together than a machine stitched one from China, and the former is of higher quality which means that they fetch a higher price when the likes of Nike and Adidas open their wallets.
Pakistan well and truly dominates soccer ball production.
Here’s a short video clip that actually shows what this is like:
Are soccer balls made in China?
If you’ve been paying attention whilst reading the article you will have learnt that soccer balls are also produced in China as well.
According to this source, the United States imported more than 60 percent of its soccer balls from China in the year 2018.
That should tell you all you need to know.
China is set on being the biggest economic powerhouse in the world so it makes sense for them to be in the discussion.
More interestingly, the country is known to have played a key role in the design configuration of the official soccer ball for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Which country makes the best soccer balls?
Arguably, Pakistan is the best maker of soccer balls.
This is mainly due to their proprietary expertise that has been built up and refined over many years of manufacturing these objects.
Being able to make 40 million to 60 million soccer ball units per year gives the country an edge as they know and have seen pretty much all the factors that go into making a good quality ball.
Ultimately, they’re the benchmark.
Hopefully this post has given you lots of insight on soccer ball manufacturing, especially with regard to the countries that play a massive role in making these objects.
You can now go ahead and buy the finest soccer ball with confidence, knowing that whether it comes from Pakistan, China, India or even Vietnam, you’re likely to get a product that you’ll enjoy for many months and possibly years to come.
Alternatively, you can check out my article on what materials are used to make a soccer ball.
It’s always better to be informed before diving into the deep end of making a purchase.