by Daniel Keane
Managers and coaching teams from all 32 nations entering the FIFA World Cup will be given tablet devices to view real-time player statistics during matches.
Each team will receive two tablets, displaying details that include player metrics, positional data and video footage for analysis.
One device will be used by analysts watching the match from the media centre. The coaching teams on the bench will use a different tablet, but are not permitted to view live video footage.
FIFA have also created a messaging tool that allows the bench to communicate with the analysts. The analysts will then be able to send back images of the game with annotations.
This match analysis technology was premiered at the Confederations Cup last year, and approved in April 2018 by the International Football Association Board for use in the upcoming World Cup.
Embracing New Technologies
FIFA has recently shown increased willingness to embrace new footballing technologies, including the Video Assistant Referee, which will also be in operation during the World Cup.
BBC Sport editor Dan Roan believes that the tablets will be very useful for managers at the World Cup.
“Reliable data will allow coaches to validate decision making processes much more objectively rather than relying on subjective observations, and explain tactical changes to players, media and fans,” he said.
“Previously, such information would only have been available after games.”
Roan also sees it as part of FIFA’s more liberal approach to new technologies, which help to prevent mistakes that influence entire match outcomes.
“The departure in 2015 of former President Sepp Blatter – who was often an opponent to greater use of technology – has also meant a more open-minded approach.”
“If this trial is a success in Russia, expect it to be replicated in the Premier League before too long.”
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