Innovation and Technological Discoveries in the World Cup from Time to Time

In every event, the World Cup has undergone many evolutions and innovations to correct past…

In every event, the World Cup has undergone many evolutions and innovations to correct past mistakes. Even so, it must be admitted that the adoption of technology in football is quite slow compared to other sports. Launching Eric Hintz in his article at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation entitled “The Invention of Instant Replay”, instant replay technology was first discovered by a television producer named Tony Verna in 1963.

His findings, which were initially only to entertain the audience, eventually became a referee tool for several sports leagues in the United States. The National Football League (NFL) has even used it since 1986. Likewise, the National Basketball Association has adopted instant replay technology for referees since 2002. However, in the case of football, this technology was only officially used in 2018 with the term Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Apart from VAR, what innovations and technologies were found and adopted during the World Cup? The following is a summary from time to time in soldering point.

1. Replay and slow motion were introduced by British television channels at the 1966 World Cup

According to Boyle and Hanes in a chapter in the book Sport, Media and Mega-Events, replay and slow motion technology in World Cup broadcasts were initiated by the BBC in the 1966 edition. This marked the world’s first image manipulation attempt in the history of World Cup broadcasting.

The BBC followed in the footsteps of Tony Verna in 1963 who first used it when the television where he worked broadcast American football matches. At that time, this technology was widely used in broadcasting sports matches in the United States.

2. Color live broadcasts were first implemented at the 1970 World Cup

In the 1930-the 1960s, the World Cup was broadcast in black and white format. Launching EPSN, it was only in the 1970 World Cup that color broadcast technology was introduced. Of course, this makes the sensation of watching through a glass screen as exciting as watching live at the stadium.

Player uniforms and various other details can be seen more clearly. Moreover, the 1970 World Cup was the debut of red and yellow cards. The moment fits with the invention of color broadcast technology. Even so, in that year not all countries had the technology to broadcast color broadcasts. Even in Indonesia, color television is still a luxury item

3. The 2010 World Cup was the first FIFA tournament that could be watched via internet streaming

The 2010 World Cup is the first edition that can be watched live on streaming services. Some of the pioneers include BBC and ITV for England and ESPN in the United States.

Launching The Guardian, during the event, they admitted that they were flooded with spectators who watched the 2010 World Cup matches from the office, considering that most of the matches took place during working hours in the two countries.

In Indonesia alone, streaming technology arrived in the mid-2010s. It’s a little late compared to the United States and England.

4. Goal-line technology was introduced at the 2014 World Cup

The crisis over the goal line was one of the issues that colored the 2010 World Cup. Several controversial moments occurred. One of them was when Frank Lampard’s (England) goal against Manuel Neuer (Germany) was disallowed because he was deemed not to have crossed the goal line. In fact, from the re-recording, it appears that the goal was valid.

Considering that at that time FIFA had not authorized the use of re-recordings as part of the referee’s considerations, the perception of the referee on the field was the only decision that was accepted. Finally, in 2014, goal-line technology was passed that could detect the position of the ball in this crucial area.

The name of this technology is GoalControl which was first used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It is in the form of 14 high-speed cameras mounted facing each goal (7 cameras monitor each goal). Its function is to detect the movement of the ball and determine from various directions whether the ball has crossed the goal line or not.

5. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was first used at the 2018 World Cup

At the 2018 World Cup, FIFA again introduced a new technology called VAR. The goal is to help the referee work on the field through videos monitored by additional referees and several assistants. This technology, as previously mentioned, has long been used in the United States for the NFL and NBA.

VAR is usually located in a special room in the stadium with several screens that monitor the match with 360 cameras. VAR officials can intervene by giving recommendations to the main referee about an event or moment in the match. They will also provide instant replays for the main referee to view in a designated area on the sidelines.

Even though it intends to help, not a few think that VAR makes matches less exciting. The team could be disadvantaged or benefit from its existence. Starting from annulling goals, and giving penalties, to violations that result in cards, the players have complained.

6. At the 2022 World Cup, FIFA added semi-automated AI offsides technology

In the 2022 World Cup edition, FIFA introduced several innovations. However, one that is quite striking and has a direct impact on the match is the semi-automated AI offsides technology. Launching Vox, this technology relies on sensors inside the Al Rihla ball and allows its movement to be detected accurately.

This is coupled with a motion-tracking camera that is planted in the stadium and functions to detect player movements. That way, the direct offside position can be known in quick time. This is why you are increasingly finding goals disallowed by referees for offside reasons at the 2022 World Cup.

The existence of technology in football is indeed a bit of a dilemma. On the one hand, it is needed to guarantee the principle of justice, but it is not uncommon for it to add problems and controversy, not least in an event as grand as this World Cup.