The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar kicks off today. The event which holds once in four years is arguably the most anticipated sporting event in the world for spectators, participants and host countries.
However, this special edition could be revolutionary for fans of the sport, as they are set to be entertained and greeted with several technologies which could define the future of the sport going forward.
For the first time also, all eight venues of the competition are located within an hour’s distance from each other, making it a first-of-its-kind compact World Cup.
While all of these things make the FIFA World Cup in Qatar an event “not to be missed,” there is one element that makes this edition of the competition even more unique: Technological innovations.
This read affords you 6 technological infusions and innovations that could change the future of the game, impressing players, fans, and more in the process.
Enhanced Football Intelligence
At the event in Qatar, FIFA will provide worldwide TV, the online audience, the participating teams and their players with the most up-to-date insights, measurements, and performance data in tournament history.
The expanded football intelligence service, created by the FIFA High-Performance team under the direction of Arsène Wenger, FIFA Chief of Global Football Development, will provide fresh and intriguing analytics to enhance the coverage and analysis of each game during the competition.
“We would like to share our vision of using football data analytics combined with technical expert interpretation to create a new football intelligence, allowing everyone to better understand the game”Arsene Wenger, FIFA Chief of Global Football Development
Every game will feature a different set of in-game and post-game improved football intelligence visuals that are presented as augmented reality and conventional graphics. These enhanced statistics give operational definitions, several video examples, and precise breakdowns of every aspect of the game. They also explicitly explain each action.
According to Wenger, “Enhanced football intelligence will be our blueprint for how we analyse football in the future. When we discover new insights, we want to share them with the world of football.
With our online FIFA Training Centre, we have a fantastic vehicle to do so. My team will continue to provide new and insightful football analysis content to help share new understanding of the game combined with performance data, video examples and technical explanations.”
FIFA will be able to use this data to do developmental analysis to better understand what it takes to go from junior to senior level in both the men’s and women’s sports, as well as longitudinal post-match analysis to understand how the game is evolving over time.
Al Rihla, which means “the voyage” in Arabic, will be used as the official world cup ball for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Al Rihla, the official match ball for the 2022 World Cup, is an innovative product. It has an inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor that can identify tight offside events as part of the Adidas Suspension System.
The kick point may be identified with extreme precision thanks to this sensor, which is located in the centre of the ball and feeds ball data to the video operation room 500 times per second.
This is the first time ever that a World Cup match ball will feature this technology.
FIFA Player App
Another technology that is set to excite the players, is the new FIFA player app dedicated to helping the players access their match data after every football match.
The FIFA Player App, created in accordance with the FIFA President’s Vision 2020–2023 will allow players at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to gain insights about their on-field performance. The app aims to use technology to enhance soccer.
In partnership with FIFPRO, the world’s leading representative of professional footballers, it incorporates feedback from players who play professionally. At the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the FIFA Player App will be utilized for the first time.
Advanced Stadium Cooling Tech
Some of the most cutting-edge stadiums will be used during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Seven of the eight venues for the 2022 World Cup feature Advanced Cooling Tech, a ground-breaking innovation that will maintain a cool environment inside the venue. The temperature inside the stadium will be ideal for both the players and the spectators.
A pipeline will transport cooled water to the stadium from an energy centre located close by. When it does, chilly air is forced onto the playing field and sitting sections for spectators. It is the first of its kind in a World Cup tournament.
Due to its proximity to the seaside and natural ventilation, the only stadium (Stadium 974) without advanced cooling technology is naturally ventilated and does not require cooling. The stadium is the first-ever fully demountable stadium in the history of World Cups. and might not be around after it.
Stadium 974 will play host to seven World Cup matches, up to the Round-of-16 stage.
Semi-automated Offside Technology
Before the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), offside calls were hugely debated in the football community.
However, the introduction of VAR has only sparked more debates regarding its accuracy and speed and specific game-related blunders by officials.
During the 2022 World Cup, there will be technological advancements on the field to improve VAR’s accuracy in making offside calls. A semi-automated offside system will be used during the World Cup in Qatar, FIFA has previously announced.
Twelve tracking cameras will be installed around the stadium as part of the new technology, in addition to a sensor inside the new Al Rihla ball. Every time the ball is played to a player who is in an offside position, this technology will automatically tell the Video Assistant Referee that the player is offside.
To judge whether a player is offside or not, lengthy VAR replays won’t be required.
Doha Tech Hub
With more than 1.2 million World Cup attendees anticipated, Qatar has established a digital centre that makes use of artificial intelligence to monitor the spectators, foresee crowd swells, and even regulate stadium temperature.
At the Aspire Command and Control Center, more than 100 technicians will be on duty around-the-clock, closely monitoring images that flash across their displays via 200,000 integrated units from 22,000 security cameras scattered throughout all eight World Cup stadiums.
Facial recognition technology will enable the crew to zoom in on every face in the stadiums, providing assistance to experts from cybersecurity, anti-terrorism, and transport systems stationed at the centre, along with Qatari and FIFA officials.
“With one click you can shift from one stadium to [another] stadium, because we have everything integrated through our centralised platform, in terms of facility management, security, health and safety, and ICT [information and communications technology] operations,”Hamad Ahmed al-Mohannadi, the centre’s director
Also, It is from here that they can operate entry gates, ensure there is running water and keep the air conditioners humming smoothly.
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