Virtual game of Issa Ledoni –

A stadium in the digital world, a laundromat in the Media Palace, live stats on players on the field over the phone – we tested out Qatar’s World Cup innovations and toured the winding mini-city made for the press.

Aissa Ledoni fought on the green for Tunisia against Australia, at the same time the statistics on her were also “played” in virtual space (Photo: Imago Images)

“What FIFA has built for the World Cup is absolutely magical! It is hard to find words to express the Qatari environment which puts visitors in the atmosphere of the World Championships in the streets of Doha…”

With this sentence, I enter the second virtual stadium in Doha, the dear enthusiasm of the local commentator fills the huge room reminiscent of a theater, where interested journalists can enjoy the exceptional adventure promised by watching the announced match with unique additions. Many of us did not take the bait, seventeen of us watched the Tunisia-Australia match in the “stands” with hundreds of seats, and some of them only received visual and sound effects as a kind of background effect, while they were bored. pressure on their phones. However, the outstanding visual experience offered by the giant screen is a given: we can clearly see the grooves of the fly’s wings landing on Issa Ledoni’s arm, and a wall of split-field LED surrounds provide the declared “live stats.” In the 37th minute, for example, on both sides of the match broadcast in the middle, we can read that Tunisia has 38 percent of the ball, Australia 43 percent (in the modified system, one hundred percent should not be out, the ball can belong to anyone) The Africans committed seven fouls, the Australians five, and 88 percent of Tunisian midfielder Ferencvaros’ 14 passes to that point were accurate. Somehow I still don’t feel the promised dazzle, in terms of watching the game on a giant projector with data, the name of the virtual stadium sounds a bit like naming the auditorium at a suburban music school a fictional opera house.

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But perhaps the talk now is just the journalistic reflex, because in fact as the commentator put it: What FIFA has created for this World Cup is something very magical. Even if the virtual stadium did not fully fulfill my hopes, it still more than satisfies the very high standards set for the diagonal standings (for the sake of objectivity, I record the data shown after the explosion: Issa Ledoni, substituted in the 67th minute, had 23 assists, 77 with accuracy percent pass). There is a lot of criticism to be made about this year’s World Cup, and in some areas it is necessary, but as far as the server system is concerned, FIFA and the Qatar Organizing Committee have done a meticulous job, despite the inconveniences not worth mentioning, creating a near perfect environment. for the World Cup. Their placement was made easier by the fact that there were no large distances between the eight courts, for example, for the first time it was possible to make one large central media unit.

Although it is more correct to speak of an empire or a smaller city, the media headquarters erected in the block of buildings called the traditional QNC may not be the only dog ​​cosmetics, but perhaps it was only me who did not see it. 12,300 World Cup accredited journalists, television, photojournalists and photographers will be welcomed by massive workrooms, press conference spaces and two virtual stadiums, as well as a coffee shop, cafeteria, general store, gym and laundry. According to its detractors, football’s governing body has plenty of experience in the latter field anyway, since the selection of Qatar’s World Cup stadium in 2010, there is a strong suspicion that almost any amount can be laundered in a FIFA washing machine. Anyway, they don’t accept hundreds of dollars here, only socks, skirts, and pants, and even professionals iron them if needed (smoothing things out is no foreign territory here, right?) However, let’s continue our wandering through the almost unimaginable size of the building complex, Where there is a separate section for international news and picture agencies, as well as a separate block for large TV rights holders, complete with a witch’s kitchen for TV content, the central mixing room offering a magical mix of screens showing a variety of camera angles. A separate prayer room for men and women is an almost obligatory part of public institutions in Qatar, but the tortuous elevator is not at all, but even here they surprised the backward Hungarian journalist in the field of world news. There is also a moving walkway along the longer corridors, eg to the exit from which free private buses take the press staff to the match venues.

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At the media headquarters in Doha, accredited journalists can work quietly and in a manner that satisfies all their needs

However, it is better to go to the nearest stadium to Education City by metro (one stop). I also seek to experience what FIFA+ can do in the Poland-Saudi Arabia match in the voluntarily requested test. FIFA Updates Day. Sitting in the stands, you quickly become convinced that it’s much more than a media center virtual stadium: a downloadable app lets you focus your phone’s camera on the field for live on-screen stat add-ons, and you can also follow action from another camera site in parallel. During testing the minutes before kick-off, for example, my phone showed that the Poles, who were within striking distance of a 2-0 victory, played 67 percent of the ball in the middle third of the field, 22 percent in the third closer to the opposition goal. They carried out their attacks 34% on the right, 17% on the right midfield, 23% on the central side, 13% on the left midfield and 13% on the left wing, and based on the heatmap, Robert Lewandowski’s movement was also characterized by focusing on the right flank . By the way, he reached his top speed at 33 kilometers per hour, passed with 64 percent accuracy and covered 10.37 kilometers so far. But he’s still moving, I can read it on my phone, I say fast, he’s going 6kph on the starting lap.

Well, this is how FIFA in Qatar evokes the modern-day soccer traveler.

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