Sports leaders are slowing down the application of technology, expert says


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Logroño, (EFE).- Spain lost against Japan, in the World Cup in Qatar, with a legal goal but which caused controversy for days as to whether the ball had already left the field or nope. Something that technology could have solved at the time for all fans, but FIFA chose to keep the “debate” until the next day.

It’s a recent example of how the technology already has many applications for the world of sport, in this case football, “but competition managers don’t want to use it to the fullest because that would end the controversy. and the irrational part “that sport has”.

This was assured to EFE by the director of the sports science area of ​​the International University of La Rioja (UNIR), Antonio Sánchez Pato, who recognizes that for decades the entry of technology into sport ” is unstoppable” but mainly focuses on the physical aspects.

“Sport has a big emotional component and if everything could be predicted it wouldn’t matter much anymore, but the reality is that today, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) applications, you could work with a lot more of data on what is being done,” he points out.

In fact, he assures, there are technological options which, thanks to sensors on a ball and on the players, could determine at the moment if there is offside or not; and the recent example of whether or not a ball went out of bounds “is the most obvious”.


But, “sport in general, and football in particular, has a sociological component that the leaders of the competitions know and do not want to end” because “to put an end to the debates which are generated by a game and which last for a long time It would harm also in business”, he explains.

However, there are “exceptions” such as tennis, where it has been accepted that technology fully “judges” certain games, although the culture of this sport is different from that of others such as football, he explains. .

Although it is not obvious, technology and AI are gaining weight in sports day by day and in fact “the bookmakers are already applying it during their predictions” even if “later it does not reach the fans, because for people it’s important that there is a degree of uncertainty, you don’t want the best man to always win.

They also work with data and AI applications “in the financial side of sport” so that “investors can calculate the value of teams” because “when transactions are made to buy a club, not only tangible things are taken into account but also other indicators are also analysed” which are measured by these applications, he explains.

The great application of AI “is in the physical preparation of teams” since “professionals in this field have always worked with data and now have many tools” to analyze the performance of athletes, energy consumption, workload, its recovery or response speed, among other factors. EFE


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