Why we should think beyond minimum Caf stadia requirements

THE need for urgent attention on Zimbabwean stadia became urgently apparent when Caf ordered Zimbabwe to play international matches abroad owing to substandard facilities. Significant progress has been made in attempting to meet minimum Caf requirements but there is perhaps the need to look beyond merely wanting to ensure the Warriors and Mighty Warriors get to play on home soil.
With Zimbabwe more than two decades behind in as far as aligning with modern football trends adopted by nations such as South Africa, Morocco and Egypt, the adoption of scientific technology in the upgrading of stadia is an important area which authorities need to look into for the betterment of the game. While standard requirements of installing bucket seats and the upgrading of dressing rooms and media areas were some of the areas pin-pointed as basics, this could perhaps be an ideal opportunity to align the national sports stadium and other facilities with international standards.
The installation of security cameras which offer an opportunity to detect the faces of spectators are vital in curbing hooliganism while performance analysis tools such as Artificial intelligence camera’s used to capture vital event and tracking data without the need of a camera operator are some of the considerations the Sports and Recreation Commission could begin looking into. As absurd as it may seem, such tools are vital in analyzing performance and could ultimately offer technical personnel with key information which could help our national team’s improve.
While international companies such as ChyronHego have their award winning TRACAB system installed at over 300 stadiums across the globe and at leagues such as the EPL, Bundesliga and La Liga, the market offers various cheaper alternatives which could help analysts collect vital event and tracking data. Such data could be transformed into vital information through the use of data visualization graphics such as heat maps and average position images thus allowing analysts to present meaningful match data to our technical departments.
In an age where predictive data models are becoming an important part of the performance analysis process it remains difficult to provide data such as the possession value added of our national team players, or expected goals metrics due to the absence of tools needed to capture such information. Meeting basic Caf requirements may appear the most logical thing to do but is high time authorities look into acquiring funding which will help the nation go beyond just being able to host international matches.
Author: Francis NyamutsambaQualifications: PFSA Performance Analysis in Football level 1, ZISCA Level 2 coaching certificate, Advanced Sports Management Diploma – IOC, B.A Media Studies

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