Football is changing. The days of muddy pitches, pies and pints are on their way out.
Our new football climate is now a multi-billion pound industry. There is little room for error with time and money constantly being invested to try to take elite level performance to the best it can be.
There is also a movement to try to improve the fan experience and for clubs to better understand their loyal customers who flock in their thousands each week to watch their team play.
By bringing football into the digital age through the use of technology, football clubs and governing bodies are trying to make top level football the very best product and experience it can be.
1 Video Assistant Referee (VAR)
A huge talking point in football is the introduction of Video Assisted Referee's by FIFA into the game to aid on-pitch officials in making correct decisions when in doubt during a match.
As per the FIFA website, VARs are being used for the following game-changing incidents: awarding of goals and penalties, red cards and mistaken identity when wrongfully booking, sending off a player or unsure which one to sanction.
It has been used in numerous international friendlies and some domestic games, including a match between Spain and France earlier this year. Technology twice aided correct decisions in a 2-0 for the Spaniards.
2 Tottenham Hotspur
We have also seen the transfer of technology in modern football stadia. The old terraces are being swapped for techie multi purpose arenas like Spurs' new 61,559-seater stadium, which will host a variety of sporting and entertainment events, such as the NFL.
“Creating a technology infrastructure to support an enhanced visitor experience requires solutions that can meet the growing demands of visitors that come to our new stadium,” said Sanjeev Katwa, head of technology at Tottenham Hotspur.
TAGPAY is a communication, safeguarding and management tool for sports clubs. The tech started out in the football industry but has already expanded to other sports including cricket, tennis and MMA.
So far Arsenal Soccer Schools, Barcelona Escola, Queens Par Rangers and the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy have all used TAGPAY, as well as a number of grassroots sports clubs.
The combination of the SmartBand, App and Dashboard allows sports clubs to digitally register their players, handle payments, have instant access to player profiles and share updates directly through a news feed.
4 Viper Pod
We've all seen the pre-season pictures of footballers training in what look like small black sports bras. Well, these high-tech vests are called Viper pods and are developed by a company called STATSports.
This neat piece of technology is used elite clubs such as Manchester City, Arsenal and Barcelona. The Viper pod enables coaches to track data such as distance covered and heart rate amongst other stats using a GPS tracking system. This data can then be used to plan and adjust a players training to improve player performance.
There is no doubt the relationship between football and technology has only just begun. With the innovative ideas constantly being formed, elite performance and fan experience is only going to improve.
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