MOSCOW, July 26 - RIA Novosti, Vladimir Ardaev. A soccer ball with the symbols of the World Cup - 2018, donated by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the head of the White House Donald Trump, is probably equipped with a special chip with a communication function.

The gift, presented at a press conference in Helsinki, caused a mixed reaction in Washington. Senator-Republican Lindsay Graham said on Twitter: "I would have checked this football for listening devices and would never have allowed me to bring it to the White House." Bloomberg journalists came to the conclusion that the congressman may have been partly right: on the surface of the ball they saw a special logo warning that it is equipped with a communication device.

Adidas company officially explains that all balls for the World Cup 2018 are manufactured using NFC technology (Near Field Communication). They have built in tiny chips. A special application installed on the smartphone reads the code and opens access to the players' videos, fan contests and other similar content. The chip itself is passive, it does not transmit any information, and it has a very small range of action - in order to use the program, it is necessary to bring the gadget almost close to the ball. This can be done, for example, in the store where Adidas products are sold, or by purchasing the ball itself - that is, the chip implant performs a purely advertising function.

Externally, the chip resembles the one that is installed on bank cards for contactless payments. Adidas explains that it is impossible to change it, delete it, or rewrite the information embedded in it.

Earlier, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed that the ball handed to Trump Putin passed a standard security check, mandatory for all gifts to the president. It refused to specify the details of this procedure.

During a joint press conference after the Helsinki summit, answering a question from journalists about who is now the initiative for Syria, Vladimir Putin handed Donald Trump the ball of the 2018 World Cup, saying that "the ball is now on his side." Trump handed a gift to his wife Melanie and promised that he would give it to their youngest son Barron.