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VAR to debut in Asian Champions League

The AFC have confirmed the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system will be used from the quarter-final stage of the 2020 Asian Champions League.

This will be the first time the VAR has been introduced in the AFC’s club competitions.

The technology made its debut in Asian football at last year’s Asian Cup, when it was used for the quarter-finals of the tournament in the UAE.

The system was then successfully implemented across all 32 matches at the AFC U23 Championship in Thailand, earlier this year.

To further strengthen the AFC’s capabilities in the VAR System application in the Asian Champions League, a virtual AFC VAR Information Officer (VIO) Workshop will be organised on August 26 to ensure VIO’s are across all of the latest VAR developments.

The VAR system, which aims to provide minimum interference with maximum benefit, is limited to four game-changing decisions or incidents: a goal or no goal, penalty-kicks, direct red cards and mistaken identity decisions, AFC said.

The Asian Champions League, Asia’s elite club competition, was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March of this year.

The competition will resume in the West Asia hub of Qatar on September 14, with the East Asia hub of Malaysia to restart on October 16.

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Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Football Queensland begin Female Football Week celebrations

Football Queensland have begun their state-wide celebration of Female Football Week, commemorating the game’s proud past, present and future.

The annual celebrations have heightened significance this year, in what is the centenary season of women’s football in Queensland.

“This year’s Female Football Week is a great opportunity to recognise and reflect on the extremely important role of women and girls in football’s past, present and especially its future,” FQ President Ben Richardson said.

“The incredible digital history museum FQ launched last week gives us all insights into the remarkable story of the women’s game here in Queensland, which kicked off with the momentous first public match at the Gabba on 24 September 1921.

“We are proud to bring greater attention to the 100-year anniversary by widely releasing our centenary season logo, which is another example of FQ’s commitment to embracing the game’s history and diversity.”

The governing body will release a series of videos this week showcasing the stories of past, present and future Queensland and Australian footballing heroes.

The state’s first Matildas captain, Sue Monteath, will be featured in the opening video.

Football Queensland will also shine a light on several ‘Women’s Football Champions’ who have contributed to the game and helped provide girls with opportunities at a grassroots level.

“This initiative gets to the core of what Female Football Week is all about by recognising those who share FQ’s passion for delivering inclusive, high-quality participation opportunities,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“With the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 approaching, it is more important than ever that the community unites behind FQ’s message that women and girls are the future.

“We made that clear in the Women and Girls Strategy 2021-2023 that was presented to political, sporting and football leaders at Parliament House on Tuesday.

“FQ is driving progress towards unlocking Queensland’s FIFA Women’s Cup 2023 legacy and Female Football Week continues to make a strong contribution to that journey.”

Female Football Week will conclude on the 8th of March.

Football NSW introduce Winter Futsal League for 2021

Football NSW have announced they will introduce a new Winter Futsal League for both men and women this season.

The new competition is set to kick off in late March and will run for 12 weeks, with a finals series to conclude the season.

All matches will be played at Valentine Sports Park in Sydney, with six teams already registered to compete in the league.

Football NSW’s Futsal Manager Jordan Guerreiro was excited about the introduction of the new elite competition, which will improve the quality of the small-sided game in the state.

“This is a fantastic opportunity in which our Futsal Players and our Futsal Clubs can now get involved all year round. The Winter Futsal competition is designed to create a middle ground between Grassroots Futsal and Elite Futsal in which Football NSW and the clubs can engage our Futsal players to have a quality competition,” he said.

“The Winter Futsal League I believe is an important beginning stage in the development of Futsal to be perceived as a sport that is played by our community all year round. This initiative also opens up an opportunity for these clubs involved to improve their club’s engagement with their players.

“As the State Governing Body of Futsal, we want to continue to improve our service of the game and continue to build our Futsal framework to develop a community of players. Football NSW would like to create a sustainable league and continue to develop and grow this competition to engage with more clubs to get involved.”

The six teams set to feature in the league are listed below.

  • Eastern Suburbs Hakoah
  • Inner West Magic
  • Mountain Majik
  • Phoenix Futsal
  • Sydney Futsal
  • West City Crusaders

Iterpro adds confidence to a club’s decision making

Iterpro Football Intelligence supplies comprehensive data to an easy-to-use platform so clubs can make more informed decisions in quick time.

Iterpro Football Intelligence supplies comprehensive data to an easy-to-use platform so clubs can make more informed decisions in quick time.

Top clubs in Europe, such as AC Milan and Inter Milan, have counted on Iterpro to take the stress out of managing their team.

Centred around player performance and recovery, Iterpro gives clubs vital information that become valuable insights for their game-to-game preparation.

It’s the first business intelligence solution built from the ground up, aiming to connect with an entire club’s operations via an easy-to-use club management system. As Iterpro can offer data from multiple sources, it makes for a seamless, time-saving and hassle free experience.

A wide range of features cover each facet of running a team, so all members of staff can manage their relevant department through specifically-built software.

All departments of the Iterpro platform can each bring powerful insights. They thrive on improved communication, reduced injury risk and a return on investment for all clients.

Technical department:

Managing the team is quicker and smarter with an interactive team sheet. An automatic data feed can take match analysis to the next level by highlighting a player’s physical condition and availability to play.

During the week, a coach can create an activities planner for the team that keeps everyone on the same page. Some weeks may require different actions to others, so this keeps everyone organised.

A video gallery adds another dimension to coaching in a visual capacity, where unlimited training, game videos and tactical clips can be stored and shared through the player app. It gives team members all the tools they need to confidently know their role and responsibilities.

Sports science department:

A player’s physical condition can be easily tracked so that adjustments can be made as required to their individual training plan.

If a player is given a certain workload in training and manages to complete it, then it says to clubs that they are able to sustain that level or physically ready to take the next step. Conversely, some players might struggle with that same demand, so coaches can work closer with them to build on their fitness or conditioning. This means sport scientists have to look at a player’s state of fatigue and assess whether there may be a risk of injury if they do to much, where soft tissue injuries could arise without appropriate analysis.

Training session plans can be implemented so that targets can be set with the aim of achieving them in various training drills and game simulations.

Medical department:

 

When players sustain injuries they can be monitored week-to-week with the appropriate care to protect them so that they can get back on the pitch in an appropriate timeframe.

Organised lists can give important details about where each individual player is at in their recovery, with short-term and long-term absentees provided to medical staff which can then prompt treatment and rehabilitation to be completed.

Injuries can be managed thoughtfully so that it eliminates the temptation of rushing a player back too early, which can lead to more or worse problems over time if the player isn’t managed correctly.

Administration: 

An entire club can be managed on the one platform, with all financial aspects covered to put more control on spending.

Contracts are fully digitised and includes all the appropriate details of all staff members. The number of years and months remaining on contracts are easily visible.

When the transfer window is open, it can be managed through the software and even offers simulating scenarios. Clubs will be informed about how much money they have to spend on new signings if they want them, or they could instead invest this on new contracts for team members.

A full analysis of a club’s financial performance is done with real-time monitoring, where capital gain and losses are recorded. It helps navigate through the ins and outs of revenue and costs.

Talent ID:

Academy players can be tracked to assess their development en route to a senior team call up.

Iterpro allows coaches to give up and coming players attributes that can be updated over time to see how they can grown in their development.

The attributes feature is also useful for club scouts who can make note of a potential signings’ strengths and weaknesses, which can lead to decisions about how they may be a good fit for a new team.

Iterpro can play a major part for clubs looking to gain a competitive advantage, being a positive influence for future team management.

You can see all of what Iterpro has to offer here.

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