Posted: Thursday June 13, 2013 9:54 AM

Conflict over sponsors puts Brazil at disadvantage

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BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -Despite having home-field advantage at the Confederations Cup, Brazil may be negatively affected by the ball being used at the World Cup warm-up tournament.

The hosts haven't practiced much with the Confederations Cup ball because it's made by a sports company that is a rival of the team's main sponsor - and now Brazil's players are racing against time to get used to it.

Brazil is sponsored by Nike, so it avoided using the Adidas ball throughout its two-week preparations for the tournament.

The players only started practicing with the ball on Tuesday, four days before it plays the opener against Japan in Brasilia.

Some players have acknowledged that it is taking a bit of time to adapt to the lighter and livelier Adidas ball, called the Cafusa.
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