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The Introduction Of Technology Into Soccer Sport

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More than four out of ten people consider themselves to be fans of the world’s most admired sport, soccer. According to a Nielsen survey that covered over 18 global markets claims that 43% of the people surveyed were very involved in the sport. Second came basketball with 36%. Also, according to the Nielsen survey that occurs once a year shows that soccer is leading in global sports and still has the capacity to grow in most global markets. The beautiful game as most people call it, is not the most popular when it comes to the world’s two largest economies, the U. S and China. Even though soccer is not as popular in the U. S and China, in most societies’ soccer is more than just a sport, it is a cultural tradition, a way of life and a reason to be happy. In some societies like Brazil, Egypt and Uruguay it is the social norm for people to be off when there are games and for these cultures to come together, watch the games and flood the streets with cheers and dances. For some cultures the World Cup can be seen as the economy’s savior and has changed the socioeconomic status of the people who were involved in one. For example, in 2001 and before the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, the Japanese alone anticipated and $11 billion growth and long-term growth of $26 billion. This shows the how important soccer is to most societies and opens up the path as to how implementing technologies in the game could help maintain the beautiful game’s ethics intact.

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You could say it all started with Diego Armando Maradona (one of the best foot-ballers of all time) and the “Hand of God” where footage of him scoring a goal with his hand during the 1986 World Cup final. The referee did was not able to see it and he counted the goal which gave Argentina the Win over Germany in one of the sport’s most controversial decisions. This instigated the idea of finding out a way to prevent the ethics of the game from demolishing which lead to the rational conclusion of implementing technology. This incident and many other similar incidents to come afterwards were a reason to change the laws of the game a little bit. In soccer, a referee was never allowed to look at any footage during the game or even review their decisions. People thought that refereeing was just part of the game and making errors is just a byproduct of soccer. However, throughout the last 15 years, lots of mistakes have been made and a lot of scandals of match fixing issues have occurred. The biggest scandal was in the Italian league in 2006 and is widely known as the “Calciopoli” which resulted in demoting the champions this year Juventus to the second division and stripping their title away after proving their involvement match fixing and bribing referees. This was the breaking point to where ideas of how to implement technology and preserve the ethics of society’s most popular sport started to rise. It took 8 years for the first piece of technology to be introduced in the game.

The technology known as Goal Line Technology or “GLT” was first introduced in December 2014 in the French League and since then it became a part of Europe’s top 5 leagues and all the big competitions including the Euro and the World Cup due to its huge success. Abdelmalik 3The GLT is decides whether or not the entirety of a ball passed the line or not. To implement the technology, three requirements had to be accomplished. First, the technology had to be precise. Second, the decision had to be instant and robotically established in less than a second. The final requirement was that the judgement of the result is to be communicated first to the game’s administrators. So how does GLT work and how to implement it whilst maintaining those three FIFA requirements?

They used four components. One, a magnetic field inside the balls used which triggers our second component which is a sensor placed right on the goal line. The third component is a receiver which is triggered if the ball crosses the line that receiver is worn by our fourth and last component, the referee who will see the signal shown on the receiver which he wears on his wrist as a watch-like gadget. The GLT has been very successful and have led eliminate controversy on very close and tough calls from the goal line and maintain the ethics and laws of the games. Despite the success of GLT, referees still made mistakes in other areas of the game and a lot of controversies have been instigated which lead the administrators to think on an ultimate solution that will end these crucial off calls and have societies have the best and most ethical football one can ever have. In order to do that a new technology was implemented. The technology was called the Video Assistant Referee and is also known as VAR.

Out of Europe’s top 5 leagues VAR was implemented first in Italy in the 2017/2018 campaign. VAR is a room on the pitch where 3-5 other referees sit down and watch the game on the screen. Those screens show what is being recorded via special spider cameras that can cover the entirety of a soccer pitch and is able to catch every single piece of actionAbdelmalik 5in slow motion. VAR has allowed the referees to be able to stop play and wait for the referees to make a much more accurate decision on most crucial plays. For example, handballs, penalties, red cards and most importantly offside goals. VAR has also been utilized this summer in the World Cup and showed huge success on making calls the Referees failed to make.

All in all, everyone loves sport and love watching their team win. Soccer is the most predominant sport worldwide and literally; cultures and societies are built on the around it. Soccer is all about passion and sportsmanship. Due to a lot of ethical problems that occurred throughout the past decade, multiple errors and bad ethical judgements and calls have been made. Thus, the introduction of technology into the sport was deemed necessary. VAR and GLT are two forms of technology that are currently being used to make the society’s most popular sports enjoyable by eliminating all the controversy and preserve the ethics of the sport.

01 April 2020

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