Goal-Line Technology

Goal-Line Technology was introduced at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In detail, it is a method used to determine when the ball has completely crossed the goal line in between the goal-posts and underneath the crossbar with the assistance of electronic devices and at the same time assisting the referee in awarding a goal or not. The objective of goal-line technology (GLT) is not to replace the role of the officials, but rather to support them in their decision-making. Referees will again have this tool in Russia, using information from 14 high-speed cameras a signal is sent within one second to the referee’s watch indicating when the ball has crossed the goal line.



Video Assistant Referee

In March, the International Football Association Board approved use of video assistant referee (VAR) in football. This World Cup will be the first to offer video technology as an additional tool for referees. But it will only be used to "correct clear and obvious errors and missed incidents in clearly defined match-changing decisions", according to FIFA. The referees can decide to rely on the verbal information from the video assistant referee or to review the video footage themselves on the sideline before making their decision. This new technology, based on broadcast and audio equipment, was customised over the last two years to the specific needs of football.



Performance tracking

The third major hidden technology available at each match consists of a number of tools and communication equipment for both teams. The teams’ technical and medical staff will have dedicated workstations and a dedicated line to communicate with the coaching and medical staff on the bench. FIFA says the positional data from two optical tracking cameras that track the players and ball will be available to the analysts in real time alongside live footage from selected tactical cameras. The insights from the technical information and the communication link allow for constant real-time interaction that can feed into their decisions during the match.



Telstar 18 official match ball

The official match ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia was revealed late last year as the Adidas Telstar 18. The name is a combination of television and star and the black and white panels was designed to stand out on black-and-white TVs. The 2018 version features a new carcass, high technology and recycled packaging and also includes an embedded Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip, enabling interaction with smartphones. The designers at Adidas say the ball has "taken football innovation and design to a new level and offers both consumers and players a completely new experience".

Live coverage of all 64 games will be broadcast across RTÉ2, RTÉ Player and RTÉ News Now alongside a dedicated World Cup 2018 website.