Tuesday 19 September 2023, 08:45

FIFA President talks technology with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman

  • Gianni Infantino meets head of North American ice hockey league in New York

  • NHL's technological innovations and fan experience discussed

  • Tech to have "integral role" in making FIFA World Cup 2026™️ the best ever

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has met National Hockey League (NHL) Commissioner Gary Bettman in New York to discuss how technical innovations employed by the NHL have enhanced the fan experience.

The discussions closely referenced the 48-team FIFA World Cup 2026™️ which will feature 104 matches being played at 16 venues across Canada, Mexico, and the United States, as the tournament will seek to take the fan experience to new levels. In this respect, the FIFA President was keen to hear how the NHL has introduced technology to give fans a unique matchday experience on either side of the US-Canada border.

Recent developments saw fans able to use a mobile phone application to view multiple camera feeds and angles of games from their device in real time inside the arena, while avatars and fun graphics are used to illustrate the on-ice entertainment for the very youngest of hockey fans.

FIFA aims to provide supporters with the opportunity to get as close to the game on the pitch as possible at the 2026 tournament, showcasing tactics, sporting rivalries and cultures, while also ensuring they do not miss any of the tension and drama.

“I have seen in Europe the passion of ice hockey fans and I am aware of the popularity of this sport across North America,” the FIFA President said. “This incredible passion and love for the game is something soccer fans also share. Hence, like the NHL, we want to take advantage of the rapid strides being made in technological innovations to get our fans as close to the action as possible at the inaugural 48-team FIFA World Cup in 2026.”