How Technology is Shaping Football in the Pre & Post COVID era
As the Football leagues across the world prepare to kickstart the remainder of their season. We look at some of the key tactics, analysis that play an important role in shaping Football with the use of these technologically advanced tools and how it will affect the game in this COVID era.
Tracking Player Performance
Performance development in international football over the years has rapidly increased with the help of quantifying data and advanced analytics. Since Fifa´s approval on wearables in electronic performance and tracking systems in 2015, many clubs have resorted to algorithms to study the graph of the players from their performance to be prone to injury or rather prevention from it and improvements in player statistics.
Be it managers who want to track the positioning of their players, scouts to search for new talents or fans who like to indulge in critical analysis of their teams. With the use of event data, the actions that were match relevant or happened during the match by movement data and video analysis, shape a study for the analysts. Moulding it with positional data of the ball and players are tracked automatically by cameras or via sensors. Finally leading to machine learning techniques based on neural networks.
While most tactical analyses are performed by reviewing video and matches in person, soccer-logs can be used to perform automatic discovery of tactics, simplifying the complex process of match analysis.
’Using machine learning and predictive analysis, we can learn the facts that lead to success. Players can then use these learnings to optimise performance and continually improve.’ Said supervision head of operations, Bruno Mendes of Benifica to Wired.
21st Club , a strategic advisory business for football clubs used a tool to identify a potential new player for a club in eastern Europe. The footballer was earning 25 per cent less than the average player on the club’s existing 20-strong shortlist; the valuation model estimated the player to be better than all but one of those 20. “This shows the power of smart use of data,” said Omar Chaudhuri, 21st Club’s head of football intelligence to FT. “The player was from a market that they [the club] didn’t necessarily have the resource to scout in great detail, but by using data we were able to highlight a specific player worth looking at.”
In 2006, the team of event-coders at London-based Opta Sports were tapping buttons to record the time and location of every pass, shot, tackle and dribble. Today, each Opta-coded match contains around 2,000 data points.
While the software and infrastructure FIFA put in place for the 2018 World Cup allowed all teams a stable and secure connection between the match analysts located in the stands to the technical staff on the bench pitch side, as CNN reported.
In the most cutting-edge development, data scientists have developed a technique called “ghosting”, where algorithms predict the most likely actions players will take in certain situations. “You identify a specific scenario that tends to disrupt the opponent, giving you, say, a 30-second window where the opponent is disorganized,” says Paul Power, an AI scientist at STATS, an analytics company. “That’s the 30 seconds you then focus on in training.” Data scientists track how many hours of sleep players have had, which players recover better, how much a player will grow, and much more.
They use GPS tracking to gather player speed, distance covered, and average heart rate per game. As per their report, each player gets a tailor-made program for themselves.
Again, these techniques have huge value in player recruitment. Models of players’ movements can be aggregated into playing styles for whole squads. This allows scouts to home in on players with similar styles to their own teams, ensuring tactical compatibility.
Scouting during a Pandemic
As football is gearing for a comeback directors figure a way to manage revenue with empty stadiums, dwindling sponsors, and pay cuts for many players and managers. Recruitment of new players too will change, so will the scouting. Lack of physical contact, unable to understand the personality of the players, their family agents, and studying their role in the club has been difficult as it’s done over video-conferencing, which is not convincing enough for the industry experts. With the implication of social distancing, clubs can’t test how a player responds in the setting of a new club and team, hence in- house players from the academies of the clubs, from the u-16, 8-21 teams could be seen given an opportunity.
Former Arsenal Chief scout, Steve Rowley, recently said while speaking to Guardian, ‘While the various scouting platforms offer an invaluable depth of information, they only provide so much of what a scout needs. The statistics are vital but to see an individual’s real character, and how they handle themselves in certain situations, you have to watch them in the flesh. As a result, and with the lack of money going around, I think clubs will be particularly cautious when considering big signings in the short or medium term. It is hard to make conclusive judgments from a distance and there will be a certain nervousness about making costly mistakes.’
That is where imagination comes in, the present situation may breed a more creative kind of scouting. Clubs will put more energy into looking for bargains lower down the divisions, or in smaller foreign leagues. You’re always trying to find a hidden gem but the rewards for reaching beyond the obvious may be even greater now.
Football in the Covid-19 era
After almost 3 months of lockdown, football clubs in Germany, Italy and Spain of the premier football leagues have resumed the season again, with Bundesliga paving the path for the others with already having started their league.
Europe’s top five football leagues could lose as much as four billion euros ($4.33 billion, 3.75 billion pounds) in combined revenue if the coronavirus pandemic completely wipes out the rest of the season, according to a study by KPMG.
La Liga in Spain could lose as much as 600 million euros from broadcasters, the report said, while Serie A clubs stand to lose up to 450 million euros from a canceled season.
The Bundesliga and Ligue 1 stand to lose as much as 400 and 200 millions euros respectively.
However, as Tom Fordyce recently wrote for BBC.com, “In this current dark reality, the sport doesn’t matter but it does.” Why? Because sports order our lives in many ways — from the element of exhilaration that comes from watching your team compete to the structure and order imposed by seasons and schedules. “Sport makes sense, most of the time. There are precedents and organization and timelines. You do this and this happens. You start here and you end there. None of which feels true in the path of a pandemic that has accelerated across old borders. And so sport becomes our prism for trying to understand what that is and what it means,” Fordyce adds.
Clubs resorting to new ways to keep fans Engaged
The Football Business Academy (FBA) is devoted to training the next generation of leaders in the dynamic football industry. So it is not surprising this pioneering educational institution is stepping in at this precarious and uncertain time to help navigate the way forward. In response to worldwide lockdowns, quarantines, and confinements, The FBA has introduced a weekly webinar series designed to help keep stakeholders apprised of key industry developments. The first topic of discussion was ‘How COVID-19 is directly impacting football clubs across Europe’.
While in the clubs, measures are being discussed and studied to have a systematic and automatic way of guarding the entries without the need of security guards when the stadiums do open to the public, to encourage social distancing. In the meantime, La Liga that is set to resume this week has implemented innovations in two main areas: virtualization of stands and fan audio as well as new camera positions and the images they will offer to viewers. The effects would be like in the FIFA 2020 PlayStation Video game but with real action.
13 times European champions Real Madrid uses the cloud to transform their organizationin multiple ways. With nearly 450 million fans across the globe, finding a way to connect with them all is not an easy task. Built on the cloud, Real Madrid is using data to connect with its millions of fans by creating a virtual stadium where fans can enjoy the match without having to travel large distances, something that will come extremely handy in today’s times. They are also set to play the first match against Eibar at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium which serves as a home to the Real Madrid Castilla. Many players in the first team came from the Castilla, hence going back to playing to their roots could be a boost for some and also an advantage for the young players from the Castilla, who could be getting a chance to showcase their talent.
The pandemic has definitely demonstrated that the game needs to come back for the sheer celebration and the immense connection it holds across worldwide fans. It has also paved the way for newer innovations and methods that will strengthen the whole dynamics of the business of football.
After studying Art History ,working for different Museums in Madrid and contemporary art galleries in Mumbai. Founding Art Throng - a global art curatorial think-tank promoting emerging artists from around the world. Gradually taking onto Sound Performance , after which getting selected for the Music and Sound Residency at Fabrica, Benetton's Research Lab in Treviso, Italy. Where she worked on creating original soundtracks for different projects and brands like Bvlgari and the UN during the one year .
A driving interest in Programming and Machine Learning also took its first steps there. Eventually studying Data Science and Analytics ,working for LY Tech, a small and growing business working on innovative, fail-fast R&D projects in the information and communication domains.
She curates our Artistry Segment and writes articles on Technology and Art. She has her first book, inspired by her multi-faceted journey as a Writer,Programmer,Data Scientist, Sound Composer and Curator, being released in Autumn,2020.
Specialising in Sound Design,Python Programming ,Data Science, Content writing, curatorial art projects.
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Transfer of information
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Data protection rights under the GDPR
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(i) You have the right to withdraw consent where you have previously given your consent to the processing of your Personal Information. To the extent that the legal basis for our processing of your Personal Information is consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. Withdrawal will not affect the lawfulness of processing before the withdrawal.
(ii) You have the right to learn if your Personal Information is being processed by us, obtain disclosure regarding certain aspects of the processing, and obtain a copy of your Personal Information undergoing processing.
(iii) You have the right to verify the accuracy of your information and ask for it to be updated or corrected. You also have the right to request us to complete the Personal Information you believe is incomplete.
(iv) You have the right to object to the processing of your information if the processing is carried out on a legal basis other than consent. Where Personal Information is processed for the public interest, in the exercise of an official authority vested in us, or for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by us, you may object to such processing by providing a ground related to your particular situation to justify the objection. You must know that, however, should your Personal Information be processed for direct marketing purposes, you can object to that processing at any time without providing any justification. To learn whether we are processing Personal Information for direct marketing purposes, you may refer to the relevant sections of this Policy.
(v) You have the right, under certain circumstances, to restrict the processing of your Personal Information. These circumstances include: the accuracy of your Personal Information is contested by you and we must verify its accuracy; the processing is unlawful, but you oppose the erasure of your Personal Information and request the restriction of its use instead; we no longer need your Personal Information for the purposes of processing, but you require it to establish, exercise or defend your legal claims; you have objected to processing pending the verification of whether our legitimate grounds override your legitimate grounds. Where processing has been restricted, such Personal Information will be marked accordingly and, with the exception of storage, will be processed only with your consent or for the establishment, to exercise or defense of legal claims, for the protection of the rights of another natural, or legal person or for reasons of important public interest.
(vi) You have the right, under certain circumstances, to obtain the erasure of your Personal Information from us. These circumstances include: the Personal Information is no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which it was collected or otherwise processed; you withdraw consent to consent-based processing; you object to the processing under certain rules of applicable data protection law; the processing is for direct marketing purposes; and the personal data have been unlawfully processed. However, there are exclusions of the right to erasure such as where processing is necessary: for exercising the right of freedom of expression and information; for compliance with a legal obligation; or for the establishment, to exercise or defense of legal claims.
(vii) You have the right to receive your Personal Information that you have provided to us in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format and, if technically feasible, to have it transmitted to another controller without any hindrance from us, provided that such transmission does not adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others.
(viii) You have the right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your Personal Information. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint directly with us, you have the right to lodge a complaint with your local data protection authority. For more information, please contact your local data protection authority in the EEA. This provision is applicable provided that your Personal Information is processed by automated means and that the processing is based on your consent, on a contract which you are part of, or on pre-contractual obligations thereof.
California privacy rights
Consumers residing in California are afforded certain additional rights with respect to their Personal Information under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). If you are a California resident, this section applies to you.
As described in this Policy in the information collection section above, we have collected the categories of Personal Information listed below in the past twelve (12) months:
- Personal identifiers (such as email address, phone number, etc)
- Person’s characteristics (such as age, gender, etc)
- Biometric information (facial recognition, fingerprints, etc)
- Internet or other electronic network activity
- Purchase history
- Geolocation data
- Education records
In addition to the rights as explained in this Policy, California residents who provide Personal Information as defined in the statute to obtain Services for personal, family, or household use are entitled to request and obtain from us, once a calendar year, information about the categories and specific pieces of Personal Information we have collected and disclosed.
Furthermore, California residents have the right to request deletion of their Personal Information or opt-out of the sale of their Personal Information which may include selling, disclosing, or transferring Personal Information to another business or a third party for monetary or other valuable consideration. To do so, simply contact us. We will not discriminate against you if you exercise your rights under the CCPA.
How to exercise your rights
Any requests to exercise your rights can be directed to us through the contact details provided in this document. Please note that we may ask you to verify your identity before responding to such requests. Your request must provide sufficient information that allows us to verify that you are the person you are claiming to be or that you are the authorized representative of such person. If we receive your request from an authorized representative, we may request evidence that you have provided such an authorized representative with power of attorney or that the authorized representative otherwise has valid written authority to submit requests on your behalf.
You must include sufficient details to allow us to properly understand the request and respond to it. We cannot respond to your request or provide you with Personal Information unless we first verify your identity or authority to make such a request and confirm that the Personal Information relates to you.
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Do Not Track signals
Some browsers incorporate a Do Not Track feature that signals to websites you visit that you do not want to have your online activity tracked. Tracking is not the same as using or collecting information in connection with a website. For these purposes, tracking refers to collecting personally identifiable information from consumers who use or visit a website or online service as they move across different websites over time. How browsers communicate the Do Not Track signal is not yet uniform. As a result, the Website and Services are not yet set up to interpret or respond to Do Not Track signals communicated by your browser. Even so, as described in more detail throughout this Policy, we limit our use and collection of your Personal Information.
We may display online advertisements and we may share aggregated and non-identifying information about our customers that we or our advertisers collect through your use of the Website and Services. We do not share personally identifiable information about individual customers with advertisers. In some instances, we may use this aggregated and non-identifying information to deliver tailored advertisements to the intended audience.
We may also permit certain third-party companies to help us tailor advertising that we think may be of interest to Users and to collect and use other data about User activities on the Website. These companies may deliver ads that might place cookies and otherwise track User behavior.
Social media features
We offer electronic newsletters to which you may voluntarily subscribe at any time. We are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential and will not disclose your email address to any third parties except as allowed in the information use and processing section or for the purposes of utilizing a third-party provider to send such emails. We will maintain the information sent via e-mail in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
In compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, all e-mails sent from us will clearly state who the e-mail is from and provide clear information on how to contact the sender. You may choose to stop receiving our newsletter or marketing emails by following the unsubscribe instructions included in these emails or by contacting us. However, you will continue to receive essential transactional emails.
We offer push notifications to which you may also voluntarily subscribe at any time. To make sure push notifications reach the correct devices, we use a third-party push notifications provider who relies on a device token unique to your device which is issued by the operating system of your device. While it is possible to access a list of device tokens, they will not reveal your identity, your unique device ID, or your contact information to us or our third-party push notifications provider. We will maintain the information sent via e-mail in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. If, at any time, you wish to stop receiving push notifications, simply adjust your device settings accordingly.
We may engage in affiliate marketing and have affiliate links present on the Website and Services for the purpose of being able to offer you related or additional products and services. If you click on an affiliate link, a cookie will be placed on your browser to track any sales for purposes of commissions.
Links to other resources
The Website and Services contain links to other resources that are not owned or controlled by us. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other resources or third parties. We encourage you to be aware when you leave the Website and Services and to read the privacy statements of each and every resource that may collect Personal Information.
We secure information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. We maintain reasonable administrative, technical, and physical safeguards in an effort to protect against unauthorized access, use, modification, and disclosure of Personal Information in our control and custody. However, no data transmission over the Internet or wireless network can be guaranteed.
Therefore, while we strive to protect your Personal Information, you acknowledge that (i) there are security and privacy limitations of the Internet which are beyond our control; (ii) the security, integrity, and privacy of any and all information and data exchanged between you and the Website and Services cannot be guaranteed; and (iii) any such information and data may be viewed or tampered with in transit by a third party, despite best efforts.
As the security of Personal Information depends in part on the security of the device you use to communicate with us and the security you use to protect your credentials, please take appropriate measures to protect this information.
In the event we become aware that the security of the Website and Services has been compromised or Users’ Personal Information has been disclosed to unrelated third parties as a result of external activity, including, but not limited to, security attacks or fraud, we reserve the right to take reasonably appropriate measures, including, but not limited to, investigation and reporting, as well as notification to and cooperation with law enforcement authorities. In the event of a data breach, we will make reasonable efforts to notify affected individuals if we believe that there is a reasonable risk of harm to the User as a result of the breach or if notice is otherwise required by law. When we do, we will post a notice on the Website, send you an email.
Changes and amendments
We reserve the right to modify this Policy or its terms related to the Website and Services at any time at our discretion. When we do, we will revise the updated date at the bottom of this page, post a notification on the main page of the Website, send you an email to notify you. We may also provide notice to you in other ways at our discretion, such as through the contact information you have provided.
An updated version of this Policy will be effective immediately upon the posting of the revised Policy unless otherwise specified. Your continued use of the Website and Services after the effective date of the revised Policy (or such other act specified at that time) will constitute your consent to those changes. However, we will not, without your consent, use your Personal Information in a manner materially different than what was stated at the time your Personal Information was collected.
Acceptance of this policy
You acknowledge that you have read this Policy and agree to all its terms and conditions. By accessing and using the Website and Services and submitting your information you agree to be bound by this Policy. If you do not agree to abide by the terms of this Policy, you are not authorized to access or use the Website and Services.
If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints regarding this Policy, the information we hold about you, or if you wish to exercise your rights, we encourage you to contact us using the details below:
We will attempt to resolve complaints and disputes and make every reasonable effort to honor your wish to exercise your rights as quickly as possible and in any event, within the timescales provided by applicable data protection laws.