We linked to an article a while back that talked about how the Socceroos were using advanced software to break down and analyze video of opposing teams. The company that develops this software listed FIFA as a client and we wondered how they might be using it. Well, we got an answer.

It turns out that FIFA is using the SportsCode software to analyze the performance of referees. Simon Jackson, an account manager at Sportstec, provided some interesting information in the comments:

FIFA use our systems to analyze the referees decisions, where were they in relation to the incident? could they have been in a better position to see the incident? Was there decision based on emotion or pressure to give a card? all these questions are answered using Sportscode.

They also use our systems to track a referees movement around the field, this information gives FIFA information on distances covered, heart rate activity, and the fitness demands on referee’s at international level. Most referee’s can run 10km over 90 minutes but can they run 5 x 70m sprints in 3 minutes and still make a correct decision?

This is what FIFA is using Sportstec products for.

Given the uproar over the officiating during the 2006 World Cup, I expect this software will get quite the workout! Hopefully it can help FIFA to get more consistent performances out of the referee pool! Maybe it’ll help certain referees learn to count better too! 🙂