FIFA Fair Play

FIFA Fair Play aided by Technology opportunities


FIFA Fair Play aided by Technology opportunities

Ever since the pandemic began, massive sports-related events have just recently started to happen again: the 2020 Summer Olympics finally took place in Japan in 2021, and currently the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

In this matter, no other sports event gathers as massive attention as the FIFA World Cup and everything indicates it will be taking place as planned late this year.

The fact that FIFA has gradually opened up to implementing technology to make the game cleaner and maintain the Fair Play principle is something that is being looked on as a positive change for the World football’s governing body. Rules for the game have changed to accommodate for the technology inclusions but any tech advocate -like myself- thinks this is a positive change.

Some of the most recent changes that have impacted positively on the game are the goal-line technology which helps to accurately determine if a goal is valid when in doubt. The VAR (Video Assistant Referee) has helped referees make better judgment calls throughout Soccer leagues across the World and in any International tournaments such as the upcoming World Cup. The lesser-known Electronic Performance and Tracking System (EPTS) allows crucial data to be gathered during the games which include player health, position, or performance data to enhance the information a coach has available to make more precise technical decisions.

What else is next?

Semi-Automated offside technology (SAOT)

This is set to be an extension of the VAR system where several cameras will track specific data points of each individual player on the field giving their position, although these number of data points might be increased per player for a more granular measurement. This measurement will then be transmitted to a specifically dedicated referee in charge of analyzing and recommending the call to the on-field referee. This technology promises to provide such information in real-time so the game will be interrupted as little as possible.

3D animations

As a part of SOAT 3D animations are being trialed to illustrate when a player is offside or not, but this is not going to be used for the decision-making process, only for presenting a clear view of the play.

As a soccer fan and a technology advocate, I look forward to seeing the previously mentioned tech working in full during the QATAR World Cup but also in any upcoming tournaments and why not in all football leagues around the world. Hopefully, other international governing sports bodies can continue adapting new tech to further enhance the games but ultimately provide valuable data so that players from all sports can benefit from it and improve their game.