There have been a number of new technologies to have been introduced within football over the last decade or so, however there are still so many different arguments as to whether they actually help improve the sport as a whole, or have actually had the reverse impact and have made things a little more unenjoyable.
How Technology Has Changed the Football Experience
Of course, with the 2020 UEFA European Championships, the Copa America and club competition finals such as the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League all scheduled to take place this summer, there will, undoubtedly, be plenty of opportunities to see the technology that has been implemented in action, whether they like it or not.
Video Assistant Referee (VAR)
One of the most debated technologies to have been implemented in football in recent years is the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), and depending on which country that a person’s favourite football team may be located in, there have been some serious changes to the overall football experience that has been had.
Indeed, the introduction of the technology in the English Premier League has been far from smooth, with it seemingly providing more problems than benefits, as fans, players and coaches continue to complain about how it is used and the decisions that have, or have not, been made via this piece of technology.
Furthermore, it has made celebrating a goal – which can be the ultimate football experience – one that is difficult to do immediately, as lengthy checks can see goals ruled out because a player is offside by the slightest of margins, such as by an armpit.
In other European countries, though, the technology appears to have been used rather well and effectively, so there is definitely room for it to be a useful piece of kit in the future, despite it continuing to provide discussions and angry debates.
UEFA will use VAR as part of the upcoming UEFA Euro 2020 schedule, though, so fans will hope that their overall football experiences will only be impacted positively when it is called into use.
Many will want to see the best teams and footballers be able to do their thing on the pitch without a referee from behind a TV monitor getting involved with every decision that is made.
Goal-line technology is another innovation that has been introduced into football in recent years, with the idea that cameras and sensors will be able to pick up and determine when the whole of the ball crosses the line, thus sending a notification to the referee’s watch and alerting them to the fact a goal has been scored.
This piece of technology will have been welcomed rather positively by many football fans as there are moments that appear extremely difficult to call without it, whilst there have been decisions in the past that were hideously wrong when they were initially made; for example, the ball was well beyond the line but the referee or their assistant were not in a position to be able to spot it.
This technology is rather favourable as it is quick and gives a rather clear outcome in an instant, therefore leaving it difficult to argue with.
Goal-line technology was used in UEFA 2016 European Championships, so it should also make an appearance in the upcoming edition of the tournament, especially given that almost all of the stadiums are of a state-of-the-art offering.
Has technology impacted the overall football experience?
As mentioned, it could easily be argued that the technology that has been implemented in recent years has impacted football in both positive and negative ways.
As with all pieces of technology, it can be great when it works as intended, whilst it can be infuriating and deemed terrible when it does not.
There will have been times when the communication devices used between officials will have been ridiculed or thought of as game-changing and they have become a staple part of the referee’s kit. There is no doubt the technology is here to stay, so hopefully it helps to build a more positive football experience in the near future.