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Africa and Technology in Sports

by Mzingaye Nxumalo
16 Jan 2023 at 16:26hrs | Views
Technology is now being incorporated into sporting events evidenced by the introduction of technological innovations like Video Assistant Referees in soccer.

Although some of these innovations are yet to be introduced in all parts of the world, it is of no question that technology plays a central role in getting accurate results and detailed analysis.

Africa is no exception to the technological advancements which have occurred as far as sporting events are concerned particularly in soccer which is the most common sport not just in the continent but globally.

The most recent revolutionary technological innovation is the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) which is yet to be introduced to Africa. However, we cannot overlook sports technologies like wearables, sensors, instant replays, virtual reality and likes which are already running even in African sports.

In all technological advancements, the key targets have remained unchanged; to provide accuracy in the results and as well provide a safer and healthier experience in sporting.

Particularly focusing on sporting in South Africa, the country has embraced the technological ecosystem, especially through Digital Fan Engagement.

This is a technology which brings visibility and detailed performance analytics into sports. A common example is online Sports Betting.

South African Betting Sites

There are over 10 registered and Internationally recognised SA betting sites. That being the case, online betting is legal in the Southern Africa situated country.

According to an article posted by IT News Africa on the 10 of October 2022 entitled, "Everything you need to know about online sports betting in South Africa", betting is allowed only for those who have a licensed bookmaker from the Provincial Gambling Board. You can bet and withdraw funds legally which has zero tax in South Africa as long as you are eligible to play.

Since there are no physical sportsbooks in South Africa, it is best to check licensing first at any betting site when assessing the legality. Every legal site usually displays the province which they got their bookmarker from at the bottom of their homepage.

Most of these sites have an age restriction of 18 years and above.

Besides the Provincial Gambling Boards, The National Gambling Board (NGB) is the regulatory motherboard responsible for any gambling that happens within the country since 1966. The board also determines the type of gambling that is within the country's legal measures.

According to Peter Addison a betting expert from, the following are the top five best South African betting sites;

1. 1XBET with 200% Bonus up to US$130

2. PLAYA with 100% Bonus up to R10,000

3. BET.CO.ZA with 100% Bonus up to R1,000

4. SPORTINGBET with 100% First Deposit Bonus up to R2,000

5. HOLLYWOOD BETS with R25 Sign Up offer.

However football is undoubtedly the best sport to bet on in South Africa with a variety of options to bet on, from England's Premier League to Spain's La Liga Santander, Germany's Bundesliga and local leagues like the DSTV Championship. Also it has the largest fanbase especially after hosting the World Cup in 2010. Other popular bets are cricket, horses and rugby.

Nevertheless all betting sites have a coverage of almost every sporting activity to ever exist. For example, Betway has close to 27 sports to bet on including the infamous ones like Biathlon, Badminton, Futsal, Twain Sports and so on.

The technological advancement in cellular networks to 3G, 4G and 5G have made online betting a widely considered way of sport involvement especially since almost everyone above 18 has access to the internet.

New Fifa Football Agent Regulations (FFAR)

As of 9 January 2023, FIFA has put into effect new Football Agent Regulations which is a piece of football laws meant to re-regulate football agents who had been deregulated by FIFA back in 2015.

FIFA had deregulated football agents internationally so as to venture into a new membership with intermediaries in what was called The Intermediary Regulations which were put into effect on the 1st of April 2015.

However FIFA realised some faults within their newly introduced system like which according to are;

1. Global Inconsistencies - different associates adopted different approaches to licensing regulations as each National Federation could regulate agents as they saw fit. Therefore the licensing approaches now differed from place to place.

2. A perceived lack of quality control - creating an environment in which individuals were able to enter the industry with relative ease and broker deals for large sums of money, sometimes at the perceived expense of professional ethics.

3. An inability to impose appropriate sanctions - at an international level such as fines, suspensions and termination of agent registrations thereby perpetuating unethical and unfair practices.

"Therefore FIFA has been trying to reform since 2017. The board established The Footballer's Stakeholders Committee (FSC) which included confederations, member associations, FIFPRO, the European Club Association, the World Leagues Forum and other stakeholders of professional football. The idea was to implement various changes to the football transfer system in a phased manner," as reported by Law in Sport.

In 2019 FIFA then announced its intentions to re-regulate and license football agents so as to counter the problems mentioned above. Since then, the FIFA council only approved FFAR on the 16th of December 2022, completing a full circle of regulation, deregulation and re-regulation of football agents, internationally.

Article 1.2 of the FFAR sets out FIFA'S objectives behind regulating football agents and these are as follows;

a. raising and setting minimum professional and ethical standards for the occupation of Football Agents

b. ensuring the quality of service provided by Football Agents to clients at fair and reasonable service fees.

c. limiting conflicts of interest to protect clients from unethical conduct.

d. improving financial and administrative transparency.

e. protecting players who lack experience or information relating to the football transfer system.

f. enhancing contractual stability between players, coaches and clubs

g. preventing abusive, excessive and speculative practices.

Processes for obtaining a licence have since taken effect as of 9 January 2023 and then as for the processes which relate to acting as a football agent, and the obligations of football agents and their clients they will commence on the 1st of October 2023.

Source - Byo24News