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| 3 minutes read

One of the biggest (tech) wins of Qatar 2022

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar draws to a close this Sunday with the showpiece final between Argentina and France in the Lusail Stadium in Doha. While La Albiceleste and Les Blues will be competing on the field for football’s biggest prize, Qatar 2022 has already seen a number of wins regarding new tech implemented to keep football at the forefront of sports innovation.  

One of the biggest of said wins may be the change in how elite level football can now be examined and analysed, with innovative data collection and sharing techniques. This has been achieved through implementation of the new FIFA Player App.

In short, the FIFA Player App gives each player who has opted in to using the system the opportunity to access their individual player-performance data shortly after each match, giving them insights into their on-field performance in a manner and time frame never seen before.

The app works by collecting data throughout each game, and distilling this down to each individual player for access shortly after the final whistle. The data collected includes:

  • Enhanced football data metrics, calculated using enhanced event data which is captured by a team of highly trained FIFA football performance analysts, and combined with tracking data. Examples include whether a player made an offer or movement to receive, whether their distribution action broke opposition lines, and the pressure they applied to an opponent in possession of the ball. All metrics are captured against the FIFA Football Language definitions;
  • Physical performance metrics, collected through an innovative and highly accurate in-stadium tracking system consisting of multiple cameras located around the pitch for maximum player coverage. Metrics include distance covered at various speed thresholds, number of actions above 25km/h and maximum speed, all displayed on positional heat maps; and,
  • Enhanced Football Intelligence metrics, created by the FIFA Football Performance Analysis & Insights team by developing a series of algorithms and models that operate live to integrate event and tracking data, collected through the aforementioned stadium tracking systems. The new metrics provide innovative ways to analyse the game, including the phase of play, line-breaking events, whether a player made an offer or movement to receive the ball, receiving locations and pressure applied to the player in possession of the ball.

Further enhancing this system is the ability to synchronise the data with match footage to enable players to watch all key moments of their own performance in detail, using different camera angles.

While systems such as these can sound great on paper, it is not until they are put through their paces in true tournament settings that we are able to see if they are truly innovative and are of real value.

Now, following almost a month of World Cup football, it appears the FIFA Player App (and associated systems which facilitate the app) have proved to be a great success for FIFA’s Football Technology & Innovation Division.

With over 400 hundred players registered to use the app’s services, it appears that the system has well and truly been put through its paces, with it receiving glowing reviews from some of the world’s elite, such as Luka Modric.

This innovative collaboration between FIFA and FIFPRO has certainly now set the standard for how player performance data is collected and distributed, and the development of standards and best practices for the collection, protection and use of personal player-performance data.

While some factions of fans may argue that attempts are being made to turn the art of football into a science, Qatar 2022 has certainly been a great spectacle with outstanding football on show; to which the implementation of the FIFA Player App could have greatly contributed.

Like VAR and goal line technology systems, this is clearly technology that will only ever be accessible at the highest levels of the game, with your Sunday league needing to continue with your team-mate’s ‘constructive criticism’ at the end of games to gauge your performance; but, this is technology that can help to take the quality of games televised around the world to a new level, ultimately improving the product and resulting in greater entertainment for the fans.

The next implementation of the Player App will be at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 next year in Australia and New Zealand.


data & connectivity, digital transformation, patents, creative industries