Soccer and Technology


Welcome to our special series of reports on the World Cup. Some of you may wonder, but what does the technology park have to do with soccer? And this series of reports is exactly to show how innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship are in all spaces.

The World Cup, according to the Secretariat of Education of Paraná, was created by the Frenchman Jules Rimet, in 1928, after he took over the command of FIFA, Federation International Football Association, and the first edition was held in Uruguay in 1930. Innovation has always been present in soccer, as in the creation of balls, uniforms, stadiums, and the different resources that have been applied to the games. With the creation of the world championship, not only the teams innovated, but also the cities, countries, companies, and means of communication.

In the field of communication, one of the most remarkable innovations of the World Cup was in 1958, when the matches started being televised. This was the same year that Brazil became champion and had Pelé as a member of the national team. In 1970, it was the first time that the games were broadcast live in color.

Brands, such as Adidas, gained strength in the championship. The German National Team won the 1954 World Cup with a special shoe produced by Adi Dassler. Today Adidas produces the official balls for the competition. Each year the company seeks to improve the performance of the ball, using state-of-the-art technology. After the World Cup in Africa, where the Adidas ball was a bit unpredictable and drew complaints from goalkeepers, researchers from NASA decided to analyze the ball made for the World Cup in Brazil by putting it in the aerodynamics test chamber, thus ensuring that the 2014 ball was more stable and predictable. Another important technology that was effectively used in this year’s cup was Goal-line technology, which is basically a chip installed in the ball that sends a signal to the referee’s watch every time the ball crosses the goal plane.

In the 2018 World Cup, Video Assistant Referee, VAR, technology was implemented to ensure a fairer match by giving the referee the opportunity to review the throw by video and assess whether the pass was valid or not. Now for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the referee will have another tool in the VAR, the automatic offside, which will have 12 cameras positioned under the roof of the stadium to monitor the players’ movement in a faster and smarter way.

These technologies and many others have emerged in the quest to solve problems using technology and innovation, as the technology park and the entire innovation ecosystem of the region seek together to create creative solutions to local problems.

Next week, we will talk about how technology and innovation are applied in World Cup stadiums.

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