Every four years, the world experiences one of the most thrilling sporting events. It’s the global football competition organized by the governing body of world football, FIFA. This is why this competition is known as the FIFA World Cup. For a couple of years, various countries engage in competitive football games. Their aim: to win against the other countries to be able to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. And this competition of the FIFA World Cup is so exciting that it attracts millions of spectators from across the globe. They visit the country that hosts the world cup. This is why several countries submit their bids to host the FIFA World Cup. One of the bids is selected. In 2022, it’s Qatar who has won the bid and is going to host the FIFA World Cup.
The FIFA World Cup has been around for almost a hundred years now. In almost every edition of the World Cup, something new is introduced. Most of the times, it is a new rule. The FIFA World Cup at Qatar is expected to experience several new things as well. However, a number of these new things are going to be related to technology. And most of the changes are driven by digitization. The World Cup at Qatar is expected to be unique. It is going to have a touch of exuberance and comfort for the spectators and the fans. Along with it, this FIFA World Cup in Qatar is likely to be a display of technological excellence in all aspects. In fact, the technology is going to be integrated in one of the most loved sports in the world like never before. Qatar is all set to offer innovative solutions to multiple challenges they are facing while organizing this event of unprecedented grandeur.
The Journey of Digitization Started Early
With the aim of organizing the FIFA World Cup in 2022, Qatar started a journey toward digital transformation and innovation quite early. Qatar launched the Challenge 22 Awards in 2015. The event was introduced to bring in a change in the culture in the Middle East and introduce technology and digitization as a part of the lives there. This has helped people from various walks of life. Besides, the event has brought innovation out of different groups and individuals.
For example, an all-female group of engineers from Saudi Arabia has introduced a plan to building seating options in the stadia using waste from date palm, which is available in plenty in the region.
In 2018, Qatar Development Bank introduced the Qatar Sports Tech domain for the development of sports technology in the country.
These are only a few examples from a list of events, which show that the introduction of digital transformation has influenced people in the Middle East in a major way. In fact, digitization is gradually becoming a way of life there. Therefore, the World Cup at Qatar is going to be one driven by digital transformation.
Use of Technology and Innovation at the FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup 2022 at Qatar is expected to use technology and innovation at the maximum level. The objectives of using the technology ranges from generating exulting fan engagement to making the matches better in all aspects. From stadia and roads to the football pitch and even the ball, the touch of technology and digitization is going to be almost everywhere in the FIFA World Cup 2022 at Qatar.
One of the most important uses of technology at the FIFA World Cup 2022 at Qatar is being made to make the event comfortable and engaging for the fans and spectators. And it is being done in multiple ways.
Energy-Efficient Lighting and Construction
The stadiums in Qatar are going to use LED lights. These are energy efficient. Besides, these lights are also non-toxic and run for a longer period of time. These lights are also going to help Qatar deck up for the huge event that the country is organizing. Many of the stadiums are built in the form of building envelope, which is going to help them consume less energy than any other stadium in the world.
Temperature Controlled Stadia and Fields
Although the World Cup is being played during the winter at Qatar, the temperature is expected to remain quite high. This is not likely to be a great condition for the players and the spectators. This is why the organizers at the FIFA World Cup 2022 at Qatar are introducing cooling technology for the stadiums. This technology is going to keep the temperature at the stadium and the ground optimal. One of the most important things about this cooling technology is that it is energy efficient. Various nozzles are created in the stadium through which cool air is going to be sent in to keep the temperature optimum and the conditions cozy.
There is obviously going to be a few selfie booths for the FIFA World Cup. And many of them might be turned into a stand for selfie twin. It is going to ensure that the fans can click their selfies at the booth. And once it is done, the use of artificial intelligence is going to help the fan find out the player with whom he has the closest resemblance.
Digitization on the Football Pitch
Digitization is going to be present on the football pitch in various forms at the FIFA World Cup 2022 at Qatar. Some of these include:
- Electronic Tracking Systems
- Goal-line Technology
- Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Technology
Electronic Tracking Systems
Players are going to use different specialized gadgets as a part of the electronic tracking system in the World Cup at Qatar. The staffs of the team are going to monitor the reading of the gadgets. This is going to give them every detail about a single player and position. Thus, the staffs can use the electronic tracking system to understand the changes required and make the team perform better.
As football is a game of intense competitiveness, there might be situations when the ball is cleared by the defense just after it has crossed the goal line. To find out whether the ball has really crossed the goal line or not, the referees can now use VAR to rectify their decisions, which are wrong. This digital transformation of business helps to ensure that no team suffers from any wrong decision undertaken by the referee.
Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Technology
The Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) has become quite popular in football over the last few years. However, the FIFA World Cup at Qatar is the first FIFA World Cup where this technology is going to be implemented. In a fast paced game, such as football, there are possibilities for the referees to commit mistakes. The VAR technology offers them with the opportunity to do away with those errors by undertaking the right steps.
The referees can take the help of VAR technologies to provide better results. The VAR technology takes the help of different cameras, such as Hawk Eye, Goal Control 4D, and GoalRef.
It’s true that the FIFA World Cup 2022 at Qatar is going to be different in many ways. However, the use of digitization and technology in this World Cup is likely to change football in the long run. The technologies that are going to be implemented in this World Cup are going to become a part of the game in near future, thus making football more interesting, engaging, and competitive.