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5G network driving the future of sporting events

With greater internet speeds, the possibilities are endless as 5G connections roll out around the world.

The evolution of mobile phones has helped shape 5G offering greater reliability and fast service – with the step up from 4G.

What does this mean for soccer clubs? More ways to promote their content and in turn give the fans what they crave.

In an ever-growing population and greater need for internet usage, it’s important to understand what 5G is capable of. Basically, it reduces the likelihood of slower internet speeds when the vast majority of people are online.

When fans go to watch a game, they must have live and uninterrupted data. It’s a frustrating feeling when you want the information but can’t get it right away or even at all.

The 5G network is a powerful resource, able to cater for the thousands of fans who turn up every week. As for the future, 5G is designed to keep up with the demand for people’s needs, but also allows clubs to venture into areas they haven’t been before.

As everyone is equipped with a smartphone, apps have become extremely important. 5G technology can assist supporters from finding their seat to checking out all the latest stats – it is designed to respond without delay. The improvements achieved from 5G should be clear for everyone to see.

In this day and age, people want the very best content but also in an efficient time frame. The days of waiting too long will be soon forgotten

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Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Never assume ethnicity is the problem, without addressing the behaviour

The association between a violent brawl at a NPL game and Football Australia rescinding the ban on ethnic club names couldn't be further from the fact, and only helps pernicious issues within Australian sporting culture remain unchallenged.

The association between a violent brawl at a National Premier League (NPL) game and Football Australia (FA) rescinding the ban on ethnic club names couldn’t be further from the fact, and only helps pernicious issues within Australian sporting culture remain unchallenged.

The fight between spectators at a NPL game between Rockdale Ilinden and Sydney United 58 on Sunday was an alarming scene of violence. The fight began after a spectator entered the pitch and interfered with a player, which sparked a full-blown melee where objects were thrown by spectators as police were called to quell the conflict.

In the aftermath, media outlets were quick to jump to the narrative that this fight was caused by the FA’s Inclusivity Principles for Club Identity (IPCI). Previously, clubs had been banned from using names that alluded to ethnic boundaries or events at the advent of the A-league and the death of the NSL, under a National Club Identity Policy which was replaced by the IPCI. While the clubs eschewed their ethnic names and insignia during the period this policy was in place, their heritage and supporter base remained untouched.

FA CEO James Johnson was forced to defend the policy on 2GB radio, while host Ray Hadley grilled him on the incident. To argue that the IPCI caused the violence in the stands on Sunday is to ignore a history of violence in Australian sport. Hadley insinuates that this is an issue for football particularly: “It’s almost unheard of in modern-day sport in Australia. Sometimes things get out of hand at Rugby league, Rugby Union, more particularly your sport”. In his favourite sport – one that hasn’t been “captivated by PC BS” as he eloquently states – spectators are regularly charged with assault after violent clashes.

As recently as this year, Parramatta fans fought in a wild brawl with their fellow supporters at a game. The issue is present within AFL, where spectators are regularly charged with assault. In 2018 two men were hospitalised after being attacked after an AFL game in Melbourne by men wearing their club colours proudly. In 2010 at the WACA, during a one-day test between Australia and Pakistan, a spectator stormed the field and tackled a Pakistani player and was charged with assault and trespass. The problem is a cultural one, that is endemic across all of Australian sport. To blame a spectator brawl on something as irrelevant as the name and identity of the clubs involved, while turning a blind eye to a history of violence that is perpetuated throughout Australian sport is to condemn ourselves to never fixing the cause, and never finding the solution.

Even within the world of football, violence between fans is not a new phenomenon despite what critics of the IPCI would like you to think. It happened before the ban on ethnic club names, it happened during the ban, and it will continue to happen after the introduction of the IPCI. Why is this so? Because a small minority of Australian spectators, regardless of their sport, are prone to violence. Violence between spectators is a worldwide phenomenon and amazingly remains so in countries whose populations are homogeneous and don’t divide themselves into clubs based on their heritage or ethnicity.

NSW Police Detective Superintendent Anthony Cooke stated that it was only a small minority of the spectators involved in the melee on Sunday, and there was no clear link to ethnic violence. With the former National Club Identity Policy in place, football was less inclusive of those of other cultures and ethnicity with little benefit to the game, while suppressing communities that embraced the world game.

This isn’t an effort to downplay the violence in the stands on Sunday however, but to blame the IPCI however is to ignore the fact that it is a minority of people who engage in anti-social behaviour. It remains easier to direct fault towards the policy of the FA instead of addresses the cultural issues that remain within football and Australian sport as a whole.

“We need to focus on the behaviours, not the ethnicity,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson stated in his interview with Ray Hadley. To remove spectator violence from all levels of the football pyramid we need to do exactly this. To villainize supporters based on the heritage of the club they support is to ignore the very real dangers of anti-social behaviour that is fuelled by far greater animosity than the name on their badge. Hadley misses this point completely and seems to believe that if the club had an anglicised name then the spectator violence wouldn’t have happened. The evidence shows this is objectively wrong and drawing upon ethnicity is simply a media narrative that damages the clubs and the footballing industry. The NSL, the precursor to the A-league, was severely damaged and ultimately destroyed by this stigma being attached by the media.

Hadley’s and 2GB’s attempted stitch-up of Johnson shouldn’t be a surprise. Football within Australia has a long history of being some sort of ethnic boogeyman, with the foreigner with the strange name being an easy target for disdain. While the FA has made it clear it won’t tolerate this behaviour from spectators, fans, and club officials, it has also taken the correct stance in deciding to punish those who do wrong based solely on their behaviour. While the violent brawl was unacceptable, and those involved need to be heavily punished with bans as Football Australia intends to do, it isn’t unheard of in the slightest. These issues aren’t self-contained to football or ethnically named clubs and are instead just a symptom of a much larger illness in Australian sporting culture. To ignore the violence that continues to permeate with Australian sport in an attempt to blame a policy that
contributes little to the issue will only allow the real causes to remain unchecked.

Signify technology lights up sporting clubs safely 

Signify is the world leader in lighting innovation for professionals, customers and lighting for the Internet of Things. 

Signify is the world leader in lighting innovation, providing their service for professionals, customers and lighting for the Internet of Things. 

Holding a strong presence worldwide, Signify can be found in over 70 countries, featuring approximately 38,000 employees.  

Their energy efficient lighting products, systems and services gives customers a more superior quality of light, which makes theirs and other people’s lives safer and more comfortable, leading onto businesses becoming more productive and cities more liveable. 

As parts of the world still continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Signify can help reduce the risk of viruses and bacteria spreading, especially in large indoor gatherings. It’s their Ultraviolet-C disinfection lighting that has been implemented for the first time at a UK professional sporting club. 

This technology can be found at The Stoop, home to English Gallagher Premiership Rugby Union Club Harlequins. The possibilities as endless for Signify, who can expand to the top four tiers of English football as more clubs can come on board. 

As a case study for how UV-C can be implemented at any team, Signify’s UV-C partner Powercor installed 11 UV-C disinfection upper air units in the Honours Bar of The Stoop. 

In an area that is normally reserved for Season Ticket Members, that section is currently utilised by the home team as their player’s dressing room. As the players are currently the ones to benefit from safety features due to restrictions in the UK, it is thought that once the fans do return to sporting venues, they will be within a more hygienic and safer atmosphere which will become the way forward. 

“Signify is a highly trusted partner and a leader in their field,” Harlequins Chief Executive Officer Laurie Dalrymple said. 

“We are proud to be the first professional sports team in the UK to use UV-C disinfection lighting technology, and we expect to see it widely utilised in future across the sports and events industry.”

Signify have added another layer of analysis for medical purposes as doctors look at ways to manage their players.

Signify’s UV-C disinfection lighting adds an additional layer of protection to the stringent testing and operational processes we have in place to protect the squad,” Harlequins’ Head of Medical Mike Lancaster said. 

“From a medical perspective, I am very satisfied with the way the technology has been tested in depth and fully proven.” 

UV-C is the proven disinfection method that prevents the spread of diseases by disinfecting air, water and surfaces. It breaks down the DNA or RNA of microorganisms to make viruses and bacteria become harmless. Laboratory testing showed that the virus could be clamped down in as little as nine seconds.  

Signify’s partner Powercor have already installed 11 units for Harlequins that are suspended by brackets 800mm from the ceiling. The high position, combined with the luminaires’ design, allows the system to disinfect air as it circulates in the room, even when there are people present. 

Applicable to all sports and venues, this is just the start of the reach that Signify can have with sporting organisations. 

“As a long-term partner of Signify, we are very pleased to extend our professional expertise to UV-C disinfection lighting, which will become increasingly important to our customers in the years ahead,” Powercor Managing Director Richard Grace said. 

“We are proud to play our part in getting the Quins safely to the pitch and creating hygienic spaces for supporters to enjoy the legendary atmosphere of The Stoop once it is considered safe to re-open.” 

Natural convection moves the disinfected air back into the lower part of the room. Shielding and optics in the luminaire’s design will additionally prevent accidental exposure to UV-C radiation.

“Harlequins have a long history at the pinnacle of English rugby. Top athletes work hard to keep their health at an absolute peak, which extends to managing the risks we all now face in crowded public places,” Andy Gowen said, Director Public and Sports Lighting at Signify in the UK & Ireland. 

“We’re very proud to support the Club’s objective to offer players and supporters the very best protection.”

Signify has led the way for UV technology, where they’ve added plenty of innovation and expertise related to UV-C lighting. The way that this lighting is designed, installed and use is treated with care so that safety requirements are made and improves hygiene in a climate where it has never been more important. 

To find out more on Signify and what they can offer sport clubs, you can find it here. 

Football Queensland reveals 2021 SAP Program Guide

Football Queensland (FQ) has unveiled the 2021 SAP Program Guide which provides guidance and assistance to players, parents and coaches.

Football Queensland (FQ) has today unveiled the 2021 SAP Program Guide which provides guidance and assistance to players, parents and coaches on how to improve their understanding on how the Skill Acquisition Phase (SAP) operates throughout Queensland.

This SAP Program Guide will assist players, parents and coaches to understand how the Skill Acquisition Phase (SAP) operates throughout Queensland.

The FQ Club Development Unit has consulted with community and advanced clubs, bringing together experienced personnel from various sectors of the game to build a more player-centred approach to SAP, to in turn help to produce better footballers in Queensland.

“The SAP Program Guide is another example of FQ’s commitment to providing clear, useful information about the player pathway to parents and coaches,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“The Guide offers practical advice about the age-specific playing formats and rules for boys and girls, recommendations for SAP coaches on how to manage players on match day, information on SAP State Carnivals and much, much more.

“FQ recognises that SAP is important for young players to develop game-related skills, which is why we have made unprecedented investments in the program over the past 18 months through our Club Development Unit.

“The release of the SAP Program Guide follows on from the launch of our SAPCC initiative, which makes available coaching resources and collateral to community clubs across the state, and our ongoing SAP Club Assessment process, which reviews program delivery for licensed SAP clubs.

“FQ also reformed the SAP structure for 2021 to provide more games and reduce travel time for young Queensland footballers. This Guide outlines all these initiatives and more and is essential reading for anyone involved in SAP in this state.”

FQ issued Advanced SAP Licences to clubs in South East Queensland and runs regional Advanced SAP training centres in Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns, with a club partnership in Mackay.

In addition to the SAP Program Guide, FQ has also released the Advanced SAP Club Manual which provides specific information about technical matters such as the players age policy and the recommended structure of the club-based MiniSeries events.

To see the guide in full, you can view it here.

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