We are getting closer to the start of this year’s World Championships . It’s hard to hide that tournaments like the World Cup are a great time for FIFA to present its latest technological solutions to the world. During the event in Qatar, many interesting systems and several improvements to existing mechanisms will debut on a larger scale.
What’s new at the World Cup in Qatar? The World Cup is a technological revolution
This year’s edition of the FIFA World Cup is by far the most controversial in history. Granting the rights to organize such a prestigious event in the hands of the Qatari raises numerous discussions even today – a few days before the official start of the World Cup. Nevertheless, apart from the controversy of the whole event, it cannot be denied that it is also technologically jam-packed . After all, the most important football championship will be played in a country that is famous not only for its dizzying budget, but also for the most modern scientific solutions.
In connection with this and the openness of the FIFA federation to “mixing” the rules of the game of football , it is worth taking a look at what new awaits us during the event in Qatar. At this point, it is worth noting that the introduction of the VAR system in 2018 is considered the biggest technological revolution of the World Cup so far . Nevertheless, let’s move on to the news of 2022.
SAOT will help the line judges a lot
The list should start with SAOT (semi-automated offside technology) . As the name suggests, it is a system that will almost automatically detect offside position , which is the bane of all rope judges. Referees on the pitch and those sitting in the VAR car will have access to twelve cameras that constantly track the movements of all players. In addition, the ball used to play the match has been equipped with a special sensor that continuously sends data directly to the referees of the match.
The above-mentioned cameras focus on 29 points at the extremities of the players’ limbs . Thanks to the simultaneous control of the position of the players’ feet, shoulders or heads and the ball itself, the SAOT system will be able to check with great precision whether an offside has occurred during a particular goal action.
The new technology does not require the referees to draw the offside line by hand, as the image is generated by itself using 3D models. Moreover, to avoid unnecessary controversy, replays showing the offside position (or lack of it) will be shown to fans in stadiums and in front of TV sets. The system was tested, among others, during the Arab Nations Cup and this year’s Club World Championship.
Air-conditioned stadiums for the Qatari heat
The historical postponement of the date of the World Cup from summer to winter dates has its serious reasons. Of course, it’s about the heat, which in June and July in Qatar can be literally deadly. Meanwhile, in November and December, the air temperature in Doha and other cities hosting the 2022 World Cup will be “only” 30-35 degrees Celsius. Therefore, the organizers made sure that (almost) each of the stadiums where the matches of the world championship will be played are properly prepared.
First of all, the Qataris focus on the Advanced Cooling Tech technology , i.e. simply air conditioning operating inside the stadium. Energy centers located around the arenas will supply the facilities with cold water, which will then cool the air exhaled through special vents directed both at the pitch and the stands. Such a procedure is to ensure that fans and players during the match will not feel the powerful Qatari heat. Advanced Cooling Tech technology has been installed in seven of the eight stadiums hosting the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
A World Cup stadium made of… containers
The only arena without air conditioning is Stadium 974, which was built from shipping containers! Thanks to the appropriate assembly of individual modules and frames, the stadium in question is 100% demountable . This means that after the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the pitch may cease to exist. Therefore, the organizers decided not to install Advanced Cooling Tech in it.
The “974” in the name of the stadium refers to the Qatar area code, which is +974. In addition, it is worth noting that there is a good chance that the arena will also host the 2030 World Cup. All this thanks to the Uruguayans, who submitted their candidacy for the organization of the World Cup, and one of the host fields is to be dismantled and transported to South America Stadium 974!
Oases in the form of ElPalm
It’s definitely not matchmaking technology, but a cool gadget for fans traveling around Qatar. ElPalm is a stand that will provide tired fans with some shade, a place to sit and several connectors for charging a smartphone or other electronic devices. All using the energy collected by solar panels placed on top of a structure imitating a palm tree.
Al Rihl’s Magic Ball
The highlight of any football game is of course the ball. During the World Championships in Qatar, the players will wear the Al Rihla model created by Adidas. It’s hard to hide that from the outside the football does not stand out with anything special, but what is most important is inside. This is where we will find sensors that send real-time data to the VAR system .
Thanks to providing the ball with this type of technological innovations, it is necessary for the proper functioning of the aforementioned SAOT , but also the goal-line , i.e. the system for detecting the moment when the ball crosses the goal line. For the first time in the history of the World Cup, the ball on which the matches will be played has been equipped with so many sensors and sensors.