Making sports more attractive has its limits

When I started my career at Ajax, there were no reporters in the catacombs or film cameras in the locker room. In the US, fans have already been peeked behind the scenes this way. Today, it is crucial for major media companies to be able to offer exclusive football and other sports to their viewers. Without this exclusivity you will not be able to compete. Therefore, significant investments are required to overcome and maintain the situation.

In the 1990s, new rules were invented for sports such as football, rugby, and tennis to make them more attractive to watch. In football, for example, a new offside rule provided an improvement. The fact that the goalkeeper is no longer allowed to pick up the ball with his hands after it has been put into play is also a rule change that has benefited the game; The old situation caused unnecessary delays and loss of time. Thanks to this rule, guards are now much more adept at handling their feet, with exceptions. By the way, playing from the back was characteristic of Dutch goalkeepers before the rule was applied.

In tennis and rugby earlier rugby technology was allowed to make the game more fair and attractive. There they did not hesitate to lend a hand to rulers where the human eye is often weak and errors of judgment lurk. The moments when the game pauses to check if the tennis ball is still on the line or just off not only creates extra tension for players thanks to the technology being turned on, but it’s also a form of fan engagement.

In 2021, most sports make use of technological resources, including football. Overall, this also improved the quality of the game. Football is getting faster, actions are increasingly imaginable and matches can be seen in more and more ways, right down to the mobile phone.

How can sports be sold better? Nowadays football clubs also produce their own films or produce documentaries. There must be more Content They are produced to reach fans. New tournaments such as the UEFA Nations League are emerging and FIFA is also working hard to figure out how it can cement its place in this rapidly changing world. The idea of ​​holding the World Cup every two years, instead of four, is still on the table.

Change is good when nothing breaks. More matches, not just in football, means more stress on the health of athletes. Hold on to soccer for a moment: A busy schedule does not lead to better performance. How will players’ advocates and coaches act as calendars become more complete and limits are stretched more and more? I wonder if the major football associations will pay attention to the relationship between work and rest in their decision-making processes. I am in favor of permanent development in sport, but only if – while respecting tradition – it leads to progress and not only from a critical point of view.

Clarence Seedorf He is a former football player. Now he is a businessman, philanthropist and guest speaker.

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