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Monday, May 6, 2019

How does Football integrate technology?


It can be said that football is the most popular and controversial sport in the world. On the other hand, their adaptation to technology is not entirely rapid for some reasons.

For decades, the organ that leads this sport, the famous FIFA, has preferred to dispense with " innovations " and keep betting on the field by the human criterion when it comes to operating. It was already said by Joseph Blatter (former president of FIFA) that both players and referees make mistakes, but the important thing is the human touch because football inspires passion and emotion.

And it is that the culture of football moves around a journalistic and social bubble that feeds on the analysis of moves that, in each game, create controversy. So, to what extent could the integration of technology, the experience, and feelings of this sport change?

What seems clear, is that every time is aimed more at a technological adaptation also in this field, and this trend does not come to disappear.

Technologies applied to football

In order to be more precise and fair with the rules of football, some technologies have been introduced to improve committed situations:

In 2012, FIFA announced hawk's eye approval to eliminate phantom goals. A system of well-distributed cameras that analyzes the data and, the second, sends a signal to the referee that corroborates whether it was a goal or not.
Another system that began to be used at that time was the GoalRef: a chip and sensors are inserted into the ball, with which it recognizes whether or not it has surpassed the goal line. In the same way as the hawk's eye, the result is sent to the referee's clock.
In 2016, FIFA also launched the VAR system of video assistance to the referee, which consists of the following: the referees who control the videos are trained to review the incidents on a screen. They are responsible for informing the referee of the field about what really happens and can be misinterpreted by it. The VAR can only be used in four situations subject to review: goals, penalties, red cards and identity confusion (admonish the indicated player). The operation of video arbitration It has a series of steps, from when the videos are reviewed with doubtful actions until it is the collegiate who makes the decision to establish what has happened.


As in any sector, the technology aims to improve things and situations. In the world of soccer, on the contrary, it does not seem that it brings many illusions when it comes to finding a solution that satisfies the whole world.

What is clear is that thanks to systems such as the hawk's eye, the dilemmas are over, because there is no room for discussion and the image of the referee would not be affected, as he would make accurate decisions.

But the lack of updating means that these technologies still need to be revised a lot so that they become perfect and clear for everyone. In any case, the strong culture, competitiveness, and controversy, but at the same time, an exciting surprise factor, will not make it any easier for technological innovation, since it is part of the essence of football.

As former MLS player Kyle Martino (now an analyst in the NFL) said at the time:

"There is only one reason why football fans are reluctant to introduce any technological advance in the game. Like the person who still uses a BlackBerry when the rest of us interact in devices that make life easier and more enjoyable, football fans are willing to hurt the games to soothe their concerns that any change will take away what that they already love, instead of making what they love even better ".