Arsène Wenger, the former manager of Arsenal football club, is currently FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development and is taking football to a new level. Wenger is a big supporter of using data analytics in football to develop the understanding of the game and improve fan experience.
Wenger and his team have been working on a very exciting prospect, which is the new FIFA football language. In this blog, we tell you about what is FIFA, what the new FIFA Football Language is, and how it will change the future of football. So read on!
What is FIFA?
FIFA is the international governing body of football. It was founded in France on 21st May 1904 to oversee the competition between international nations in football, and ever since it has been uniting footballing nations.
FIFA stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association, which is more commonly known as the International Federation of Association Football. FIFA currently has 211 associate nations, and has its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland,
The FIFA Football Language
Under the leadership of Arsène Wenger, the FIFA Football Language has been created which will serve as a blueprint of how football will be analyzed in the future.
The language is a performance analysis tool which breaks down each area of the game into fine detail. It helps the coaches and players to understand the trends on the pitch and help improve their technical aspects as well.
In the words of Wenger:
“The FIFA Football Language is the alphabet of data collection and it helps us to make conclusions and understand better [about] what’s happening on the football pitch.”
By creating this language and implementing it across all of our tournaments, FIFA will be able to conduct longitudinal analysis to understand how the game is evolving over time as well as developmental analysis to better understand what it takes to progress from a junior to senior level in both the men’s and women’s games.
FIFA Arab Cup 2021
This language was first tested out in the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 which was held in Qatar. The tournament, which was won by Algeria, had a team of performance analysts, data scientists, and engineers who closely analyzed each and every game.
Each match of the tournament was followed by around 25 analysts, with each player being given their own analyst. The job of the analyst was to monitor, track, and code their assigned player’s individual performance.
The analysis included:
- Player’s movement (with and without the ball),
- Breaking opposition defence lines,
- Pressure put on the ball carrier, etc.
While an average analysis contains football data sets of about 2000-2500 events per game, the analysis done under the FIFA Football Language has about 15000 data points, which takes the understanding of the game to a new level.
The aim of such analysis is to provide the fans of the game with live analytics which will add context to what is happening on the pitch for them.
FIFA Qatar World Cup 2022
After the successful testing of this new language at the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, the same is set to be used at the upcoming FIFA Qatar World Cup. All the games of the World Cup will be closely followed by analysts, who will provide key insights which are not so visible to the naked eye.
After every game of the World Cup, FIFA will provide key data points to all 32 teams of the competition, and at the same time use key metrics to better inform the viewers of the game during live play.
FIFA’s former technical director and current assistant coach of Manchester United, Steve McClaren said that:
“For the underdogs, smaller nations/countries, who probably won’t have access to this type of information, these analyses would be invaluable and might just give them a critical edge and a marginal gain.”
FIFA has been coming up with a lot of developments lately, especially under the guidance of Arsène Wenger. The body has been relying on data analytics and technology to develop the game and improve the overall experience for everyone associated with the game.
With things like this new FIFA Football Language, using semi-automated offside technology, the reliance on data and technology in football is on a rise. Wenger believes that as football is developing with an increase in the number of matches played and less time to train for the players, the use of technology, especially via video is really important.
Ultimately, FIFA wants to make its competitions more competitive, allowing the smaller/weaker teams a chance to improve their game and at the same time, it is the vision of the body to improve the overall viewer experience.
The FIFA Football Language is a blueprint of how football should be analyzed in the future, and this is just the beginning!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the full form of FIFA?
FIFA stands for “Federation Internationale de Football Association” in French. In English, it is known as the International Federation of Association Football.
2. Where is the FIFA World Cup 2022 going to be held?
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be held in Qatar.
3. What is the schedule of the FIFA World Cup 2022?
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will start from 20th November 2022, and the finals of it will be held on 18th December 2022.
4. How many teams will be taking part in the FIFA World Cup 2022?
A total of 32 teams will be taking part in the FIFA World Cup 2022.
5. In how many years does the Football World Cup take place?
The Football World Cup happens once every four years.