2014 FIFA World Cup Technology

    Hello, Habr!

    Probably everyone is aware that the World Cup is in full swing. This is the most prestigious tournament among national teams. The World Cup, we can see only once every 4 years and everyone who is not indifferent to football is looking forward to it. But today I will talk about the technologies that are used in the current championship in Brazil. I will talk about the automatic head detection system and disappearing liquid .

    Probably it is worth starting with the fact that FIFA (the main football organization), or rather its leadership, is very conservative people. The world is booming in technology. Tennis, hockey and other sports use the latest developments in the field of determining violations of the rules, scoring systems, video replay systems, which in turn allow referees to make fair decisions. But according to the leadership of the main football organization - football is not a place for technology.
    I don’t know how it seems to me that this opinion is probably imposed by the largest players in the market of bookmakers, which in turn can work closely with the judges. But I believe that all this is a myth.

    The most obvious reasons from the words of the leadership:
    FIFA President Sepp Blatter:
    “The introduction of technical innovations will lead to long stops and, as a result, will negatively affect the entertainment of matches.”
    UEFA Head Michel Platini:
    “Judicial mistakes are an integral part of football and you cannot do without them. In addition, new technologies will surely kill the “humanity” of football, which attracts fans to it. ”

    Therefore, it was a shock for the football world that some time ago, FIFA announced the launch of a goal system at the 2014 World Cup. According to their statement, the reason was a huge number of incidents when the referees did not count very obvious goals. For example, at the last World Cup 2010, when England and Germany played, the ball crossed Germany’s goal almost a meter there. At the European Championship 2012, all the same England, playing with Ukraine, missed a clean goal that the referee did not count. Well, about club championships and tournaments, we generally keep silent.

    (The moment when England scores and the ball flies back. World Cup 2010.) The

    world was tasked with creating a system that meets the following parameters:

    • The system must be 100% accurate.
    • The system must notify the arbiter of a goal in a second,
    • The system should work in all weather conditions and in any lighting (both daytime and artificial).

    So there were leaders who began to revolve in this subject. Currently 3 systems are being actively tested.


    The Hawk-Eye system (which can be translated as “hawk eye”) is already used in tennis and cricket competitions, it consists of six cameras installed at different points, the images of which are combined into one picture that determines the exact place where the ball hit, after which the judge receives goal signal.


    The GoalRef system is less well-known in the world of sports technology; since 2009 it has been used to determine goal scoring in handball. A magnetic field is created in the goal area, and a microchip is installed inside the ball. Any change in the magnetic field behind the goal line gives an automatic signal to the referee of the match and means a goal.


    The GoalControl-4D system was developed by a German company. It is the first automatic goal detection system used at the World Cups. The system is based on the use of high-speed cameras, without the use of chips in balls and the like. It consists of 14 cameras, all the time aimed at the ball, which transmit information to the computer, and he, after processing it, sends a signal about the ball crossing the goal line at the clock of the chief referee of the match. The system was installed at all stadiums of the 2014 World Cup and for the first time influenced the decision of the judge in a controversial episode with the second goal in the match France - Honduras.

    Video how GoalControl-4D works:

    Disappearing Fluid Technology

    This is the very first match of the 2014 World Cup. Note how players do not understand what is happening

    This championship adopted another technology that was previously used in football only as an experiment. Despite the fact that I am actively interested in football, I learned about it only at the current World Cup. Match referees now have a spray can with special fluid. And with every free kick near the goal, when the defense puts up a wall, the referee counts a certain number of meters from the ball and draws a line with this spray. The very position of the ball is also fixed by the spray. Most often, when before the referee counted the distance from the ball to the wall and indicated where the players needed to stand, they distracted him, at this time the wall was moving towards the ball. This interferes with the good execution of the penalty and often drags on the time when the arbiter begins to understand and count everything again. Now this problem is gone, drew where the ball is, drew where the wall is and walk, sort it out,
    After a few minutes, the spray itself disappears. I don’t know what the composition is. But my friends and I call it shaving foam. Already very similar.

    So, I hope technology will continue to be implemented in football. It is very pleasant for me as a person close to IT and football.

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