South America talks technology

Representatives from the ten countries that make up CONMEBOL met up in Rio de Janeiro this week for a two-day information technology seminar.

The get-together was organised as part of FIFA’s PERFORMANCE programme, a sports management project through which world football’s governing body offers its member associations bespoke solutions on issues relating to the game.

The 24 officials, who were joined by two FIFA experts, engaged in lengthy discussion on the role of technology in South American football and suggested potential ways forward for the continent’s football associations.

The key item on the agenda was the standardisation of football data management, considered a vital first step in improved cooperation between the national associations and between the confederations and FIFA.

“Every country has their own unique characteristics,” said FIFA Information Systems Manager Christian Michels. “The objective is not to tell them what they need to do but to help every national association to gain an understanding of their own problems, the idea being for them to convert knowledge into standardised solutions.

"The standardisation of data will provide a common link between all these fascinating variations, although the traditions and the customs of each region will stay the same. All we want to do is help associations incorporate them into their development processes.”

In the eyes of the participants the systemising of information such as player, coach and referee records as well as competition results will be a reality in the near future and will help the national associations go about their work more efficiently.

“It was an excellent seminar,” said the Secretary General of the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) Marco Antonio Teixeira. “It generated a lot of different solutions that participating countries can share in managing competitions, player transfer records and other aspects, creating in the process an internal CONMEBOL network.

"These changes are going to make it easier to send and share data and will enhance communications between national associations. And that’s a major development.”