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Pink 'Ladyball' aims to draw women to soccer

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Jan. 14, 2016 at 10:56 AM

DUBLIN, Ireland, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- The "Ladyball," a pink soccer ball purportedly designed to attract women to the game, is splitting online opinions -- some brand it sexist while others call it a satirical hoax.

The Ladyball was announced this week with posts on social media, and the Irish manufacturers said the ball is "specifically designed for the lady's game."

The ball is described as being "fashion driven" with a "soft touch, for a woman's grip."

"The idea for Ladyball came from personal experience when one of the creators tried various ball sports as a weight loss measure and found the regular (or as we like to call them 'man-sized') balls heavy, cumbersome and difficult to control," the product's website states.

The product -- which features women clad in high-heels in promotional pictures -- won the endorsement of former Dublin player Ger Brennan.

"I think team sports can be intimidating for women, they tend to be very physical and require particular skills, which can be off putting, but I think the Ladyball can combat that -- it's designed to enhance a woman's abilities and make it easier for women to play, so I hope it will open doors for more women to get involved," Brennan said on the website.

He said he wouldn't be against using the Ladyball himself -- "Just don't expect me to play like a lady!"

The Ladyball was panned by many on social media as a sexist product, while others branded it a hoax.

"Don't break a nail, break boundaries with #Ladyball" one of the company's tweets reads.

"What's big, round and bouncy?" reads another tweet, which features two Ladyballs arranged suggestively.

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