FIFA is launching the FIFA Preferred Provider (FPP) initiative within the FIFA Quality Programme for Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS) as another major milestone in this rapidly growing area of football technology.
The initiative is aimed at EPTS providers that offer state-of-the art solutions, drive the programme through innovation and are looking for close collaboration with FIFA on the development of tracking technology.
Starting in March 2021, the FPP initiative is being launched for manufacturers of EPTS. This initiative represents the next step in the fast development of the FIFA Quality Programme for EPTS that started in 2017 and has since tested more than 50 systems. This additional distinction should give further guidance to football users, but equally offers clearer exposure to providers actively engaged in supporting FIFA’s mission to improve football and the football experience at all levels.
Football stakeholders involved in the FIFA Quality Programme for Football Turf are already familiar with the FPP initiative, which has been a great success since 2009. With the extension of this concept to the Quality Programme for EPTS, the organisation is acknowledging the rising demand for such performance technologies at all levels and is therefore fostering a closer relationship with the industry’s driving forces. With the increasing importance of player tracking data in football, market leaders distinguish themselves by providing validated tracking data in real-time, offering the end-users a tool to analyse a game or training session live. To acknowledge this, FIFA is starting the initiative with the FIFA Preferred Provider for Live Player Tracking.
As FPPs, companies demonstrate their established technologies paired with commitment to collaborate closely with FIFA on the development of the existing EPTS standard and are a key resource in jointly driving the direction of the technology. For example, providing input to updating test protocols (to include improved ball tracking or new skeletal player models), finding ways to make the technology more accessible or identifying new meaningful metrics, drawing on their experience from football and other sports. As part of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for tracking systems, FPPs participate in a regular structured exchange with FIFA, competition organisers, member associations and test institutes and are recognisable through their bespoke FPP logo.
Nicolas Evans, Head of Football Research & Standards at FIFA, highlights the value of the companies for the FIFA Quality Programme: “Having kicked off the first-ever Broadcast EPTS tracking assessment this January, the FIFA Preferred Provider scheme is another key milestone highlighting the importance of this programme for FIFA. FPPs are market and thought leaders in their industry with whom we wish to collaborate to come up with solutions for the game’s demands, in particular the next generation of tracking systems.”
A list of all FIFA Preferred Providers and FIFA Licensees for EPTS can be found here.