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Technology in modern football

We now live in the golden age of technology. That’s a given. 

Everything you could do on a computer 20 years ago can now be done twice as fast on a device five times smaller. 

It’s the way of the future and there’s no disputing that. 

Even sports that were created thousands of years ago are now utilising technology in attempts to make their game better. 

Football is no exception. Take the recently completed 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

This World Cup was arguably one of the best in recent memory and one filled with many amazing memories.  

From the 3-3 draw between Spain and Portugal, to the explosion of Kylian Mbappe and to the shock elimination of Germany, it was a tournament that never ceased to amaze. 

But this World Cup was also the first to use the newly introduced VAR (or Video Assistant Referee) program. 

Granted, the program isn’t perfect and will take some time until it’s unanimously considered a good addition to the world game. 

Just like any technologically advanced program in sport, the VAR has its naysayers. And these people aren’t necessarily incorrect, either. 

The fact the referee is left with the final decision is a part of the program that has caused perhaps the most controversy. 

This is perhaps where those in charge can look at a sport like cricket, which utilises the third umpire system perfectly and utilises a technologically advanced program in a way that is conducive to the product and quality of the sport. 

But with the way the world is moving on and off the football pitch, it’s a great place to start, despite its controversial outcomes in some matches in Russia, none more so than the final. 

Looking past VAR, there are many other forms of technology that allow the game to be improved.  

Referees at a high enough level wear watches that don’t just tell them when to blow their whistles to start or end play, but also shots on goal that may or may not have crossed the line. 

Big screens at matches allow fans to be able to see the game from a viewpoint closer to the action as well as their general view. 

Live footballing updates from around the globe, something usually hard to come by have now been made so readily available in the last 20 years that it’s as easy as turning your phone on and opening an application. 

We even see this at National Premier League level in Australia through the use of football updates app Futbol24. 

People nowadays can see everything on these kinds of apps.

From who’s starting, who’s on the substitutes bench, who gets yellow carded, who gets red carded, who scores, you get the picture. 

This kind of access is unprecedented and has allowed the world game to develop into exactly that, a game that can be viewed and kept track of worldwide. 

It’s gotten so far that on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, games can be recorded (even if it’s just in small doses) and broadcasted live to anyone in the world who wishes to watch the match. 

Live broadcasting isn’t something we aren’t accustomed to but the way in which broadcasting has evolved ever since the 70’s and 80’s has seen the game grow rapidly in some parts of the world. 

Let’s look at the 2018 World Cup again. The way the games were broadcasted in Russia was vastly different to that of previous tournaments. 

In previous tournaments, games would be shown on recognised channels in different countries and for Australia that was SBS. 

For the Russia tournament, Optus acquired the rights to broadcast all 64 games and this was seen as a step into the future.  

For a few years now we have become accustomed to seeing popular movies, TV shows and documentaries finding their way onto streaming services such as Netflix and Stan. 

For football, it was time to make a similar move into the future. But despite all the promises made, Optus wasn’t able to deliver and its coverage of the tournament was amateurish and left many football fans across Australia shattered at not being able to see the finals of the greatest tournament on planet Earth. 

But despite all this, perhaps the biggest technological change in football has been with how players train. 

With so much technology now at clubs’ disposal, there are countless ways for players to be trained that are now vastly different and superior to some of the methods used way back when. 

Australian company Preau Sports has come up with a genius idea to incorporate new technology into the training of aspiring footballers across the globe. 

Their project ‘SmartGoals’ is a fun and innovative way of allowing technology to become an integral part of training sessions and player development from the grassroots level all the way up to clubs that are playing in the UEFA Champions League. 

‘SmartGoals’ are training cones that light up when sensors in and around the cone have been triggered. So when a player kicks a ball between two different cones, they will light up. 

This information can then be stored onto a cloud and then documented by the respective clubs to keep a close eye on player’s development and improvement over time. 

All information can be stored and viewed on the SmartGoals app which is the cherry on top of this revolutionary idea. 

With this technology now in the hands of some of the biggest clubs in Europe such as Ajax Amsterdam, it’s extremely safe to say that technology in football has arrived and if anyone has anything to say about it, it’s going to improve the quality of football and footballers to no end.

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

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Football Queensland’s digital broadcast continues to grow

FQ

Football Queensland have continued to go from strength to strength in 2021 with more than 390,000 unique viewers confirmed to have tuned into 711 games broadcast live and on-demand.

The number of unique viewers increased by 180 percent in 2021 as fans flocked to FQ channels to engage with local football content.

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci outlined the investment in broadcasting has generated enormous value to players, coaches and clubs throughout the state.

“We have seen huge growth in viewership of Queensland competitions, which creates fantastic visibility for our products,” Cavallucci said.

“FQ made a strategic decision to broadcast more women’s games in 2021 and we are pleased to have seen a 187 percent increase in viewership for the NPL Queensland Women’s competition.

“Players, coaches and clubs are all benefiting from FQ’s commitment to broadcasting games live and on-demand.

“High-quality broadcasts allow players to review their games and create highlights packages which can be used for identification purposes.

“We have also received great feedback from coaches who use the on-demand and highlights packages for match analysis.

“Clubs are also using the platform to advertise their sponsors which helps to grow the Queensland football economy.

“This year alone, FQ broadcast hundreds of games in the NPL and FQPL competitions as well as FFA Cup, Kappa Women’s Super Cup, F-League, community tournaments and exhibition games.

“These competitions were boosted by live calls from our fantastic team of commentators. One of these commentators, Campbell Johnson, has since been recruited to call A-Leagues games for Paramount+.

“We will continue to create value for the Queensland football community by boosting the visibility of talented individuals working in our pathways.”

MyRepublic announced as Official Internet Provider for Melbourne City

Melb City

Melbourne City FC has announced that MyRepublic will be the Official Internet Provider for the club going forward.

MyRepublic is a next generation internet service provider. They will have their logos feature on the sleeve and back of the City’s Liberty A-League jerseys and will also be displayed on the front of the A-League Men’s training kit.

This new partnership is set to help City extend the reach of their matches to a wider audience, while highlighting the club on various social media platforms and delivering incredible experiences for City fans.

MyRepublic Group Chief Marketing Officer and Country Manager for Australia, Ji Jing:

“We are extremely proud to be the exclusive Official Internet Provider of Melbourne City FC. As an ISP in Australia, we are also a champion for diversity and inclusion by breaking down the digital divide. MyRepublic has brought fast broadband connectivity into many households in Australia.

“It is thus befitting that the theme of speed is chosen for this sponsorship deal. We hope to bring the fans closer to the football action, as we line up a slew of marketing activities for our customers with money-cannot-buy type of experiences.”

Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse:

“We are thrilled to partner with a business that is focused on becoming a market leader in the next generation of networks.

“Our fans want to see the fastest players on the pitch and I’m sure they want their club to partner with the best brands off the pitch. With MyRepublic we have opened a door for them to experience a genuinely trailblazing proposition and lightning speed internet connectivity.

“We look forward to partnering with MyRepublic in using football as a key platform to strengthen social and community bonding in Australia.”

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