Six Football Technologies And Innovations Helping To Improve The Game


Oct. 25, 2022, 3:20 p.m.

Technology advancements are made daily in all areas of our lives, and it's no secret that these have been applied to various sports, including soccer. However, due to the abundance of soccer leagues, some don't use specific types of technology due to the fans' preferences.

Despite backlash from some sections of soccer fans, this technology has proven to be extremely helpful nine times out of ten and has assisted in progressing the game to a much better level.

Match officials have significantly benefitted from these tech tools since it was introduced in the game. It has, in many instances, helped them make the right decisions during games.

Let's take a closer look at the technology used in modern soccer, along with a brief explanation of how it works on a guide that's easy to navigate.

VAR – Video Assistant Referee

Possibly the most controversial addition to modern football, VAR is used to review decisions regarding penalties, red cards, mistaken identity in awarding a card, and goal decisions. The VAR reviews high-quality replays of the event that took place, which will help the match official make an educated decision. VAR has been a part of soccer since the 2018 World Cup, and this is where it showed its benefits.

It is also great for checking if players are diving and whether a penalty is deserved, which has been a long-standing issue that didn't seem to have a concrete solution until now. Many experts and players have criticized VAR for ruining the tempo and the purity of the game, but it looks like it's here to stay, and we think it's been great so far.

Goal Line Technology

In association football, goal-line technology uses electronic aid to determine if a goal has been scored or not. In detail, it is a method used to determine when the ball has wholly crossed the goal line between the goalposts and underneath the crossbar with the assistance of electronic devices and, at the same time, assisting the referee in awarding a goal or not. The goal-line technology (GLT) objective is not to replace the role of the officials but rather to support them in their decision-making. The GLT must provide a clear indication as to whether the ball has wholly crossed the line, and this information will serve to assist the referee in making their final decision.

Smart Ball System

The intelligent ball system is a sound system with a sensor suspended within the ball. This technology works in tandem with a range of receivers located around the pitch, and this is used to track the ball with extreme accuracy. It will also notify the match officials exactly when the ball has crossed the goal line, and the information will be available on the referee's smartwatch receiver.

Hawkeye System

The Hawkeye system is an established piece of technology used in tennis and cricket, whereas the version used in soccer has been doing very well. This system works with three cameras fixed on the goal line, with each camera capturing the event at 600 frames per second. It makes it easy for the match official to determine whether the ball has crossed the line. If the ball has crossed the line, the referee will hear a sound within a fraction of a second.

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Goal Ref System

This system operates via radio and uses low-frequency magnetic fields, which will determine whether the entire ball has gone beyond the goal line. This technology uses a pair of magnetic fields, one of which is part of a passive electrical circuit fixed into the ball and the other attached to the goal employing coils. Once the ball has crossed the goal line, it will instantly notify the referee.

Foam Technology

The referee uses vanishing foam to ensure players take set pieces from the correct location and that the opposing team's wall is where it's meant to be. They also prevent players from creeping forward, which was inevitable in the past. The foam is made from an 80/20 mixture of water, butane, and a small amount of surfactant. Once the foam has been released from the can, it starts to expand due to the change in pressure.

The foam eventually evaporates, leaving water on the ground, with the marks completely vanishing after a minute. It was first introduced during the 2014 World Cup after a trial at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, and the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.


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Enoch Siaw Ntiamoah Author

Enoch is a content writer for Digital Times Africa, who is passionate about writing interesting topics in Entertainment, Sports and General News