At last, the wait is over. After four long years, the World Cup is ready to roll the ball in Russia, and this time football technologies are being as protagonistic as the players themselves.
64 matches, 11 cities, 32 countries and more than 600,000 attendees. This World Cup has a special tone beyond just sporting. In Russia 2018, new technologies have been released that are making each match into a different experience from the traditional way we had been seeing up to now.
This are some of the new technologies implemented in Russia 2018:
This technology had already been presented in Brazil 2014. Now in Russia, it will make its official debut.
High-speed cameras send signals in less than a second to the referee’s watch indicating if the ball has crossed the goal line, or not.
Video Assistant Referee
The Russia 2018 World Cup is the first FIFA international competition where the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is being used, after its approval in March.
It is an additional tool for referees. This video tool allows the referees to “correct and clear obvious errors and missed incidents in clearly defined match-changing decisions,” according to FIFA.
The VAR adds new referees in a room where they are able to see each play in detail. They are in constant communication with the central referee.
Likewise, the referee may respond to the VAR referees by reviewing the video of the questioned plays before making a decision.
The philosophy of the VAR is “minimum interference, maximum benefit.”
This technology has been customised during the last two years to adapt to the needs of modern football.
Electronic Performance & Tracking Systems
Another great innovating of the football technologies present in each game is the communication tools and equipment that each team is carrying.
The technical and medical team of each team has specific work stations and direct communication lines with the technical team on the bench.
FIFA makes available to teams the information of two tracking cameras that follow the players and ball’s movements for real-time analysis and images of selected cameras.
This information, plus the communication equipment, allows a constant interaction to help the teams to take any tactical decisions during the match.
The official ball of the 2018 World Cup in Russia was preceded by Adidas at the end of last year, inspired by the classic Telstar of the World Cup of Mexico 1970.
This new version presents special features like a new housing, packaging with recycled materials and also a Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip, which allows it to interact with smartphones. Owners of a Telstar 18 can unlock information with the official Adidas app and do challenges with the ball as well.
What are your thoughts on these changes to the beautiful game of football?