In a landmark deal with performance analytics company Catapult Sports, 54 countries under the jurisdiction of the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) and CAF itself will be supplied with world-leading athlete monitoring technology to advance team and player performance.
The partnership will see 2,650 of Catapult’s PLAYERTEK units supplied to CAF teams to help optimise performance, reduce injury risk and qualify return to play processes. Used by all senior international and Olympic teams, the deal marks a significant investment into elite performance technology.
The largest of FIFA’s six continental confederations, CAF will work with Catapult to provide technical support and guidance to 54 teams, including Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and Ivory Coast. CAF’s investment in Catapult technology further highlights the development of African football and the federation’s readiness to explore the wide-ranging benefits of sports science.
The PLAYERTEK system is the latest in a series of wearable athlete tracking products. Featuring a device worn in a vest between the shoulder blades, the system measures over 1,000 data points per second to build up a detailed picture of performance. The devices track key metrics such as distance covered, speed, PlayerLoad, impacts, work ratio and heart rate in real-time, enabling coaches to reach a more detailed understanding of team and player performance.
As the world leader in elite sports performance solutions, Catapult provides technology to over 1,800 teams around the world, including Ajax, Bayern Munich, Boca Juniors, Chelsea, LA Galaxy and Leicester City. Football teams in more than 80 countries trust Catapult to deliver precise, sport-specific insights and analytics, with CAF teams becoming the latest to use the devices to drive performance.
Anthony Baffoe, CAF Deputy General Secretary in charge of Football, is excited for the federation’s teams to explore the benefits of the technology: “The choice of partnership with Catapult is not fortuitous. CAF wants to move safety issues forward at all levels, and the health of our players is one of them. Monitoring the performance of our players is important to ensure that African football reaches the global level it deserves. With Catapult services, we will be able to analyse every move each player makes and interpret their impact on their physical condition and ultimately on the teams’ performances. Having a scientific and reliable database will allow the technical teams of our member federations to take the right decisions. African footballers have talent, but we have to challenge our own limits.”
Joe Powell, CEO of Catapult Sports, said: “We’re delighted with this opportunity to help with the development of world class athletes. We’re seeing more and more talent emerge from this region, and to be a part of this journey with CAF is a huge step for us. We know that player tracking and data acquisition are critical to every element of players’ health and performance, and we are proud to be supporting the African nations in their mission to be the best.”
Karl Hogan, Commercial Director of Catapult, believes the deal illustrates a growing trend in elite sport. “The deal between CAF and Catapult is an example of how performance technology is increasingly seen as a key factor in achieving the objectives being driven by the talent pathways of major leagues and federations. CAF have raised the bar in this regard by investing in athlete monitoring systems on a significant scale, encouraging the development of sports science throughout their region by providing member nations with access to a high-quality performance infrastructure.”