The 2022 FIFA World Cup was touted to be ”the best ever” before the start of the tournament in many ways, starting from the quality of the stadiums, going through its accessibility and diversity, and finishing with the innovations made with great strides in all departments by FIFA and the Local Organising Committee of Qatar.
After the first 56 games played in the first-ever FIFA World Cup edition played in wintertime, it is clear that plenty of promises has been delivered and the fans have a unique experience, both the ones who have been watching at home, in front of their TVs, or the ones who have decided to go to Qatar and see the games live.
Over 1.2 million tourists were expected in Qatar for the length of the tournament and after two rounds of the group phase, the attendance was huge, with over 1 million people going to the FIFA Fan Festivals held in Qatar, while over 2.4 million people saw the games live, with a 94% attendance of the games.
The latter has also been treated with a huge improvement in the matchday experience, as the FIFA+ Stadium Experience App has an augmented reality feature that allows fans to view the likes of VAR replays and alternate camera angles.
Fans entering a World Cup stadium during on Match Day and who have enabled location services with the FIFA+ app, will see an exclusive Stadium Experience section which will take them straight into the action.
Users can point their phone’s camera to the pitch and a pop-up overlay enables them to tap on a player to see every point of data available, such as their movement speed, individual heatmap, shots on target, and the number of fouls made by the player during the match.
VAR replays on TV are also available, for a comprehensive experience, which can help the fans understand better the match, and much more. The all-new viewing experience is designed specifically to complement and enhance how those on the ground celebrate and support.
“FIFA will share the most modern insights, metrics and performance data in tournament history with the worldwide TV and online audience, together with the participating teams and their players,” says FIFA Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger.
It even shows the speed of the player on the field, not just the name of the player who has the ball, which means that it calculates distances, takes into account perspectives, and has a fairly complete database with the personal information of each player.
The team shape is also made available, for an easy recognition of the patterns of play and the players featuring in the squad, as well as the team shape and the defensive height and the team length, available in real time as the game progresses.
“This is a significant moment, as we welcome the entire world to FIFA+ during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. FIFA+ is set to truly change the game by providing a new blueprint for how fans enjoy their World Cup on FIFA’s channels for years to come. FIFA+ is set to become the official companion experience for the tournament, giving fans around the world a unique and personal experience and reshaping how they enjoy the sport’s biggest tournament now and in to the future,” said Charlotte Burr, FIFA Director of Strategy, Digital and FIFA+.