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The European Championship 2020 turned out to be innovative in some aspects

There is a spread over 11 cities, and virtual reality for viewers during the opening ceremony. In addition, the tournament actively used technologies that have already become an integral part of football. Together with these support systems, the game was able to become more fair, technical, but sometimes even more intense.

Video Assistant Referee technology

The video assistance system, which allows football referees to make the right decisions in controversial moments of the match, began to be gradually introduced in 2018 after a series of tests at the international level.
How does it work? VAR and AVAR judges sit in a separate room – together they look at every moment – this is important. But it is not the game moments that are checked, but the decisions of the referee – this is also very important. They can intervene only in a few cases:

  • goal / no goal;
  • penalty / no penalty;
  • direct red card (not a second yellow card and not a warning – VAR does not consider them!);
  • misidentification (when the referee sends off or cautions the wrong player).

Often the check is “silent”, that is, the main football arbiter is not even told that he did the right thing. If the referee in the field puts his finger to his ear, then he communicates with the video assistant – in this case, the game cannot be continued, because VAR technology has started checking for violations. If the arbiter shows the “monitor” sign, then either the original decision has been changed after watching, or he himself intends to go to the monitor to study the moment.
Euro 2020: There were 22 video assistants at the tournament, all located at UEFA headquarters in Nyon. In each of the 51 matches, VAR worked, and the statistics of its work were as follows:

  • The total number of decisions changed after reviewing VAR is 18 (approximately every 2.83 games).
  • Goals scored – 5.
  • Penalty awarded – 6 (4 missed).
  • Goals scored after offside – 3.
  • Goals canceled due to offside – 6.
  • Goals canceled due to handball – 1.
  • Red cards – 2.

Goal Tech technology

In the 1/8 finals of the 2010 World Cup, England midfielder Frank Lampard sent the ball into Germany’s goal – he crossed the goal line, rebounding from the crossbar. But the refereeing team did not see this, so the goal was not counted, and England eventually lost. Then it became obvious: football needs technology to help referees see and understand more. With the introduction of technological equipment, they did not delay: two years later, at the Club World Championship, for the first time, two types of scoring systems were tested at once, during a football match.

How does it work? The most famous technologies for football are GoalRef and Hawk-Eye. They are arranged differently: the second one is based on 14 high-speed cameras that are installed around the perimeter of the stadium (usually on the roof or under it) and constantly simulate everything that happens in the penalty area. GoalRef technology works without cameras, but on the principle of electromagnetic induction: special sensors are installed in the bars and crossbars that create a magnetic field. When the ball crosses the goal line, the chip starts beeping, and a signal about a goal scored is transmitted to a special watch on the hands of the referee.
At Euro 2020: an example that immediately comes to mind is Croatia’s goal against Spain in the 1/8 football match. Mislav Oršić in the 85th minute hit Unai Simon’s goal, the goalkeeper knocked the ball out, but the chief referee still recorded a goal – he received a “hint” on the clock.

GPS tracking

A small sensor is installed on the back of the players, which is fixed with a T-shirt resembling a women’s sports bra. Trackers help you track your running speed, intensity, dynamic loads, average and peak speed, sprints and more – you can even view a player’s heat map at the end of his activity.
The received data is necessary for the football coaching staff to analyze the condition of the athlete and identify his weaknesses, so this device can often be seen on football players during training. The results can be studied in a special application on a smartphone, tablet or computer in real time.
At Euro 2020: during the football match between the national team of Ukraine and Sweden, Artyom Dovbik undressed after the goal and showed his fashionable top to the whole of Europe – it was just one of the devices for GPS tracking. The Ukrainian coaching staff analyzed the condition of the players both during training and during football
matches.

Wireless communication of football judges

Headphone, microphone and transmitter – and the main referee has a connection with his assistants. The technology works via Bluetooth, covering a distance of about 1 km, so the judges can safely move around the field and communicate with each other.
At Euro 2020: this happens all the time – the judges simply cannot help but communicate with each other. It’s hard to imagine how it used to be otherwise.

Tonsser

This is LinkedIn for footballers, which was invented in Denmark a few years ago. Peter Holm and Simon Here realized that there are many applications in the world for those interested in football, but almost nothing for the players. Then the men set about creating a platform based on the principles of a social network.
The footballer registers, and then he maintains the page and enters statistics after each match. You can also rate teammates and opponents (if they have an account), upload video clips of your game or specific exercises performed in training. As a result, a rating of football players is formed, and scouts around the world actively use this: the platform helps them find not the most obvious players. Tonsser grows and is constantly updated, so it is quite easy to keep track of changes, and there is always someone to choose from.

Are these technologies really useful?

Football technology plays a critical role in helping players, coaches, referees and even us fans. In doubtful situations, this allows you to check the decisions of the referee or explain to a colleague who supports the other team that they made a mistake. Some of these systems are certainly controversial, such as VAR.
Indeed, some argue that technological innovation will kill football, while others say that it is helping the game get even better. These technologies are so advanced that they can detect even the smallest errors. And after all, we all perfectly understand that the computerization of sports is a constant and invariable phenomenon.