One of the most popular, exciting, and endlessly enjoyable sports on the planet, football has had a long and glorious history and every day, perhaps even every hour, millions across the world watch brave players knock balls around the pitches of the world. This is all well and good, although one might wonder whether or not the technological advances experienced by the world since football’s popularity first exploded have been mirrored by a similar volume of technological advancement in the sport itself.
Player apparel has changed enormously in the past twenty years. Where once players would wear simple, baggy kits made out of regular clothing materials, nowadays players wear incredibly thin and light, skin tight tops and similarly lightweight shorts. Football boots are designed using computer programmes, built utilising space age materials produced in labs, then are rigorously tested, again using apparatus that would be more at home in a laboratory. Shin guards have also undergone a similar polar-shift, now being made out of super-strong smart materials that are stronger, thinner and lighter. All of these innovations have allowed players to push themselves to their limits.
Off the Pitch
The internet and its spread have changed our lives enormously during the past twenty years, and football hasn’t been insulated by the innovation’s effects. Punters nowadays can make wagers via their smartphones on websites such as Bookies, checking out the latest news regarding their favourite teams from the safety of their armchairs or seats in the stand. At home, aficionados can play as their favourite teams via video games such as Football Manager and FIFA, massively increasing the popularity of the sport and spawning game-only leagues away from the traditional leagues.
On the Pitch
Debated for years to no avail, finally in 2012 FIFA announced that goal-line technology would be adopted among it’s members. The technology, where footballs are outfitted with a number of sensors which, in tandem with sensors on the goal posts and crossbar, can tell whether or not a ball has actually crossed over the goal line, completely gets rid of the tedious and annoying event in which the referee is not looking at the ball when it crosses the line, only to be kicked out by the defending team. As well as the obvious increases in camera and recording technology that have improved broadcasts, many in the football world are against introducing referee-trumping technologies, thinking the game should be kept as it is.