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FIFA DELEGATION STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

03 Sep 2019, General

Doha, 3 September 2019. In course of their visit to Qatar, a delegation of FIFA’s Digital Transformation and Innovation Division visited Aspire Academy and learnt about the Academy’s philosophy and use of digital data to increase performance during a tour led by Aspire Academy Director of Sport and Strategy, Markus Egger.

The delegation including Carlo Torniai, Director Strategy, Planning & Digital Ventures House at FIFA,  Benjamin Stoll, Director Business Technology & Innovation House and Michael Broughton, Senior Advisor - Business Technology, Innovation & Investment Strategy at FIFA showed huge interested, especially in the state-of-the-art technology that was presented to them in the Football Performance Center and further explained in a video call with Valter di Salvo, Director of Football Performance & Science at Aspire Academy.

“I am really impressed. I am coming from a strong background in data and artificial intelligence. Besides the impressive facilities that you have here, I was really struck by the way you are using data and technology. Not only by how you shape and make sense of training data, but also by the way you build the learning context that is required for you to succeed,” said Carlo Torniai, who joined FIFA from Pirelli where he was the Director for Digital Product Development, as well the Director for Data Science and Analytics.

Talking about the influence of the digital transformation in sports, he stressed the importance of this movement in many areas. “Using data and using advanced technology forces a cultural change that I think is very much needed, not only in sports. In my experience in different industries – I have done digital transformation at Pirelli and I used to work at Tesla before joining FIFA – I think that the real power for what we call digital transformation is not only in technology, but in the interaction of technology and the way of thinking – if you want the tension of the forces of cultural change, which I think is very much needed, particularly in sports.”

Torniai also mentioned the importance that digital transformation and innovation are going to have for the 2022 FIFA World Cup: “The aim is to make a very technology driven event that serves our fan-base and I think it’s going to be crucial how we can leverage technology and data to do this better.”

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