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SBD Global/December 31, 2012/International Football

FIFA Hoping To Make 'Virtual' Football A Reality With Worldwide Database

Football video games have typically been "based on the beautiful game," but a new proposal by FIFA sees the sport "imitating the gaming industry," according to Ali Khaled of THE NATIONAL. FIFA Transfer Market GM Mark Goddard revealed at the 7th Dubai Int'l Sports Conference that FIFA is "set to introduce Global Player Transfer (GPX), a new worldwide database that will look to facilitate transfers between clubs by listing the personal statistics of all of the world's registered professionals online." The news is of interest to "football geeks," who have spent countless hours "immersed in never-ending sessions" of the video/computer game Football Manager. Under FIFA's new proposal, football managers would, finally, "have a real life version of Football Manager." The idea is for clubs interested in a certain player to be able to "discreetly approach the potential selling club via the system and, crucially, not through a third party, to start the negotiating process." Goddard said that the greater transparency provided by the database, as well as FIFA's existing Transfer Matching System, would "ensure all clubs get the maximum, and identical, information." In theory, FIFA hopes that this would "eliminate bidding wars in which clubs give out false information, and should lead to many players being transferred for less." GPX would "be of particular help to out-of-contract players," who make up 70% of all global transfers annually (THE NATIONAL, 12/29).
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