Football is a multibillion dollar industry followed by billions of people around the world so it is not surprising at all that it is not immune to the buzzword of choice in the digital transformation technology sector. Technology has indeed played a crucial role for broadcasters, organizers and spectators at the previous World Cups, the 2018 Russia World Cup is not An exception, but what will be different is the impact of technology on the same pitch.
The last World Cup in Brazil saw the first appearance of the goal line. For the first time, referees received decision-making assistance. This year, the VAR-backed referees are showing up, but not the only technological development taking place on and off the pitch.
Some recent changes in football have been as divisive as VAR, with calls to video referees long-term, with defenders pointing to the success of similar systems in rugby, tennis and even cricket.
The idea is simple. The referees can refer to “changing positions of games” such as goals, penalties, red cards and the wrong identity of the video referee who can help. VAR has been tested in many competitions, including the FA Cup, but received a mixed reaction with many either calling VAR to be repaired or even completely canceled.
But this did not prevent FIFA from using VAR in all 64 World Cup matches. There will be a video referee team composed of VAR, three VARs and two assistants in the VOR video room at the Moscow International Broadcasting Center.
VARs can talk to the referee using a fiber-based radio system, while 33 cameras for the radio camera and two cameras dedicated directly to the VOR are transmitted using the same network. Eight of these cameras transmit the super slow motion and four with very slow motion. The idea is that each VAR is viewed To a different camera feed, and inform the referees of any errors or accidents lost, or when the referee requests assistance.
In practice, it seems easy, but the truth is the opposite, and the referees who have access to VAR still make the wrong decisions, while the stadium crowds were not often aware that VAR was consulted. In the A-League final, VAR can see a crucial corner of the camera clearly showing that the goal was allowed due to a technical error.
FIFA has vowed to make this process better with VAR, which will ensure that broadcasters, commentators, information operators and entertainment are informed on the stadium. This includes the reason for the review and the results of the review. The tablet-based system will also automatically create TV graphics for broadcasters.
But the biggest problem will be to ensure that the speed of the game is not affected, before you think that many referees at this World Cup will never use VAR.
4K UHD and Virtual reality
All the World Cup promises to come with the new 4K Ultra High Definition UHD, where there were 4K trials in Brazil 2014, but this is the first time 4K feeds have been provided to broadcasters now because a large number of viewers have devices Compatible TV.
The BBC will also receive a virtual reality summary of matches, available through BBC Sport VR, allowing viewers to feel as if they were in a special box on the pitch.
Electronic performance and tracking systems
FIFA’s second major innovation is the Electronic Performance and Tracking System (EPTS), a tablet-based system that will provide trainers for all 32 teams with access to real-time player statistics and video footage.
Each team will be equipped with three tablets, one for the analyst in the wing, one for the analyst on the bench and the other for the medical team, and the footage will be delayed for 30 seconds, along with statistics such as data to determine the position of the player and the passage and pressure and speed and treatment.
EPTS is working with camera-based and wearable systems approved by FIFA in 2015. For the World Cup, data will be collected through two optical cameras located on the main platform, while the team will also be able to access selected cameras.
5G in Russia
This World Cup has come too early for the 5G, but both TMS and Megafon, the official telecommunications partner of the World Cup, will be experimenting with technology in Russia during the event. Fifth generation networks are expected to be commercially available in 2019, Higher capacity, and a very low response time, which would mean better communication for the fans at the future football stadium as well as new experiences.
Earlier this week Ericsson and MTS revealed that the World Cup will host the largest deployment of Massive MIMO so far, in addition to installing radios capable of running 5G at more than 40 locations in seven out of 11 host cities, Fans and transportation centers in addition to famous landmarks, including the Red Square in Moscow.
Adidas has built the official football ball of the World Cup since 1970, using the event as a front to showcase its latest technology innovations, which has angered the goalkeepers who seem to complain about the ball every time. The Telstar 18 is Imagine the first Adidas Cup in the World Cup, and it is characterized by a “new design” that allegedly improves the durability of performance both on the pitch and in the street.
But the most interesting aspect is the inclusion of the NFC, and NFC is the same technology that manages things like Apple TV and Android Bay and allows the ball to connect to a smart phone, the first time an NFC chip is included in a ball, Pave the way for future releases to be smarter.
It is worth noting that Adidas has already launched a football called miCoach, which used sensors to track metrics such as speed and track, but they were not always enough to be used in the game.