Football Industry meets at the Home of FIFA

FIFA invited the football industry to Zurich to share its vision on innovations and technologies in the game of football.

Representatives from more than 60 companies involved in products, technologies and services that directly or indirectly impact the 90 minutes on the field of play discussed current trends and explored potential opportunities for the future of football.

Over 100 representatives from a range of football industry stakeholders took part in the FIFA Football Technology & Innovation’s workshop on 24 April in Zurich. Marco van Basten, FIFA’s Chief Technical Development Officer, opened the plenary morning session and together with the Technical Director, Steven Martens, shared the “FIFA 2.0 Vision for the future” and the strategy, including the role that innovation in football plays in this context. The Football Technology & Innovation team also took the opportunity to share recent developments such as the introduction of VAR and real-time data transmission into football with participants from six different industry branches pointing out potential synergies in the future. Intuitive collaborations include performance tracking systems and technology in the ball, but equally the impact that implementing goal-line technology or video refereeing could have on specific requirements for playing surfaces (exact dimensions of lines) were explored with the whole group.

The afternoon consisted of break-out sessions with each of the specific industries to break down the overall strategy into concrete application for individual products. Environmental impacts and recycling for artificial turf fields and in the manufacturing of footballs was a key focus area in line with FIFA’s overall commitment to sustainability while the technological sessions covered the development of standards and implementation of FIFA Quality Programmes for VAR, EPTS and wearable devices.

Regular updates and close collaboration with the industry are a key to FIFA’s innovation strategy. Developing solutions for the elite level as well as making sure economically viable solutions are available to grassroots and community football remain the global objective of the Football Technology & Innovation team. Together football manufacturers, artificial turf suppliers, futsal floor producers, developers of tracking systems and providers of goal-line technology and video assistant refereeing technologies aim to support the growth of the game on a global level.