Technology is changing the world, it’s changing our sport. The influence of tech in our most beloved game of soccer is undeniable.
Think of that crucial moment in a finals game, your team scores, you celebrate and then, the goal is disallowed. Remember that pain. Whilst goal technology and VAR is reducing human errors, this disgruntlement is probably why FIFA boss, Sepp Blatter was once opposed to goal-line technology. Many agreed and argued that it will destroy the simplicity of the game, but surely determining whether the ball crossed the line is paramount to the game.
What would the results have been if video assistant referee technology existed in games like the 1986 hand of god goal by Maradona, the knockout stages of the 2010 world cup shot by Frank Lampard. Keeping this in mind I find it strange that
Technology such as Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and Goal-Line Technology give referees a helping hand in making those nail-biting decisions. Operating on the philosophy of minimal interference, maximum benefit, VAR aims to correct clear and obvious errors and serious missed incidents. This technology improved the game by upping the standards of refereeing decisions resulting in a more enjoyable game to play and spectate and less banter and arguing.
Technology improves the performance of the players and higher quality of training. The quality of facilities, nutrition and equipment are eminent with the implementation of technology. An exciting evolution that maximises training is the Footbonaut. This technology-based training method is a robotic cage encompassing 14 metres, where soccer shoot out from different angles and at different speeds. The player must control and pass the ball to a highlighted square. Currently there are only 3 Footbonauts in the world, one at Germany’s Borussia Dortmund, one at Hoffenheim and the third at the Aspire Academy in Qatar where the national team is building towards hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Better viewing experience for fans. Think of Old Trafford Stadium which has a capacity of 76 000, making it one of the biggest soccer stadiums, yet the club's following is so huge that it would mean only 0.01% of its fans can actually watch the game if it was not for technology. For this reason it is an exciting idea that you can still root and cheer for the best English team in the world, Manchester United, from anywhere in the world.
When welcoming tech, the future of soccer holds endless possibilities. It is suggested that by 2025 referees will use augmented reality as a means of seeing the action from all angles. There are speculations that by 2030 an insect-like drone camera will be used to follow each player and stream their blitz up close during the game. There are prospects that by 2045 soccer fans will enjoy 3D simulation and immersion in matches. It is therefore undeniable that technology will be transforming our beloved game of soccer, like the Red Devils say with Concilio et Labore (Wisdom and Effort).