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Vigil held for the 125 people killed in stadium disaster

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Vigil held for the 125 people killed in Indonesia’s stadium disaster, as the nation mourns

Vigil held for the 125 people have been killed in a crush and riot at a soccer match in Indonesia.

Authorities believe it is one of the world’s worst stadium disasters. Now, the nation stops to mourn the lives that have been lost.

The tragedy unfolded in Malang, in the province of East Java. It followed home side Arema FC loosing 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya.

East Java police chief Nico Afinta said frustrated Arema supporters invaded the pitch.

Officers responded by firing tear gas in an attempt to control the situation, triggering the crush and cases of suffocation.

Afinta claimed officers had been attacked and cars damaged. He said the crush happened when fans fled for an exit gate.

300 were injured, including 22-year-old Muhammad Rian Dwicahyono who said many friends had lost their lives “because of officers who dehumanized us”.

The head of one of the hospitals in the area treating patients told Metro TV that some of the victims had sustained brain injuries and that the fatalities included a five-year-old child.

On Sunday, Malang residents gathered outside the stadium to lay flowers.

As investigations continue, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has ordered the Football Association of Indonesia to suspend all games in the top league.

World soccer’s governing body FIFA has requested a report on the incident from Indonesia’s PSSI soccer association.

FIFA’s safety regulations say no firearms or “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police.

East Java police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of such regulations.

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FIFA’s World Cup technology runs into extra time as tough decisions are made

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Video-assistant refereeing and automated offside technology are on show at the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup

At the end of the 2018 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Russia, President Gianni Infantino kicked off a new vision: to harness the full potential of computers in football.

FIFA started working with researchers, football teams and players to bring the latest cutting edge technology into the game.

At this year’s Men’s World Cup in Qatar, video-assistant refereeing (VAR), semi-automated offside technology, and a sensor-filled football have made their mark on the game.

“FIFA is committed to harnessing technology to improve the game of football at all levels, and the use of semi-automated offside technology at the FIFA World Cup in 2022 is the clearest possible evidence,” Mr Infantino said.

Australian researchers were part of the partnership to bring this innovation to life in Qatar.

Professor Robert Aughey is from Victoria University, who recently became the first university in the world to become an official FIFA Research Institute for Football Technology.

“It’s speeding the game up in terms of how video-assisted referees are able to operate, and it’s even more accuracy in decisions,” he said.

Professor Robert Aughey collaborated with FIFA on the technology.

Researchers used biomechanics, exercise physiology and data analytics to meet FIFA’s technology brief. The university has previously developed wearable technologies with the Western Bulldogs in the Australian Football League Club.

How does the technology work?

The technology uses 12 dedicated tracking cameras, which are mounted underneath the roof of Qatari stadiums to track the ball.

Twenty-nine data points are attached to each individual player, which are then tracked 50 times per second.

Together, they calculate a player’s exact position on the pitch and can determine whether they are offside.

“It’s really exciting that we are expanding our collaboration in a much deeper and more meaningful way with one of the biggest brands in the world,” Professor Aughey said.

The official match ball for the Qatar World Cup, known as Al Rihla, also uses real-time sensors.

These devices feed into FIFA’s video operation room at 500 times per second. It means even the most precise movements, or tight offside offences can be detected.

Professor Aughey said his team of researchers filed a 10-page document responding to questions from FIFA, while travelling home from Zurich.

“As researchers, we could be quick, agile and responsive.”

The technology was trialled at several test events and live at FIFA tournaments before the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup.

Does it ever get it wrong?

In the final Group D match at this year’s World Cup, French forward Antoine Griezmann had his goal overturned against Tunisia.

France ultimately lost the game 1-0 because over a VAR review of Griezmann’s goal in the 98th minute of the match.

The goal was controversially ruled out as offside despite defender Montassar Talbi touching the ball before it fell to Griezmann.

The French National Football Team subsequently filed a complaint, after referee Matthew Conger elected to continue play with kick-off.

“We are writing a complaint after Antoine Griezmann’s goal was, in our opinion, wrongly disallowed,” the team said.

Antoine Griezmann’s goal against Tunisia was disallowed.

However, FIFA’s disciplinary committee shut down the claims five days later.

In a statement, the organisation said it had “dismissed the protest submitted by the French Football Association in relation to the Tunisia v. France FIFA World Cup match played on Nov. 30.”

Similarly, a Japanese goal was allowed to stand against Spain despite VAR ruling it had not not crossed the line.

Alternative angles reportedly led to the VAR team’s decision, which showed the whole ball had not been out of play.

Professor Aughey said FIFA has rigorously tested the technology to prove its worth.

“If there’s been some sort of error in the process, perhaps there is recourse there. But I seriously doubt that will actually happen,” he said.

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Emergency World Cup departure by England’s Raheem Sterling

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In a nightmare situation for the English national football team, Raheem Sterling has returned home after intruder broke into his family residence

Football superstar Raheem Sterling has returned home on an emergency flight, after intruders broke into his family residence.

Police are investigating the burglary at Sterling’s home in a town called Leatherhead, just south of Central London.

Reports suggest a number of expensive items were stolen, including watches and other jewellery.

Sources close to Sterling say he is “shaken” and “concerned” about the wellbeing of his loved ones and wants to be home to “support his family.”

There have been nothing be best wishes and support from fellow team mates and staff. 

“For the moment the priority is clearly for him to be with his family…

We are going to support that and make sure he has as much time as he needs…

At the moment it’s a situation where he needs time with his family and I don’t want to put him under any pressure with that…

Sometimes football isn’t the most important thing and family should come first.

Gareth Southgate – ENGLAND FOOTBALL MANAGER
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – International Friendly – England v Ivory Coast – Wembley Stadium, London, Britain – March 29, 2022 England manager Gareth Southgate before the match REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

It comes as England get set for a big semi-finals match against France.

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China hides maskless crowd by editing World Cup broadcast

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China has made an effort to hide the rest of the world from its citizens by editing out crowd scenes from World Cup coverage

A China coverup has come to light as the country attempts to censor its World Cup broadcast.

Protests against China’s strict zero-covid strategy are engulfing its major cities, as Chinese TV feeds are edited to steer clear of crowd scenes.

State television removed camera shots of maskless crowd goers and instead shows closeups of coaches and players.

This has its citizens questioning why the rest of the world is getting on with normality, while they remain under strict lockdown.

The World Cup comes at a turbulent time for China, as millions remain shut away from the rest of the world.

It also comes just weeks after Xi Jinping secured a third term, with many are now demanding an end to his rein.

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