Romanian football enters the digital era

Apart from sporting objectives, one of the main goals of the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) is to introduce ultra-modern processes for administrative work at all levels.

Claudiu Keșerü of Romania celebrates with team-mates after scoring their first goal during their European Qualifier against Sweden
Claudiu Keșerü of Romania celebrates with team-mates after scoring their first goal during their European Qualifier against Sweden ©AFP/Getty Images

We could say that Romanian football is entering the digital era, giving people easier access to information and also making it easier to share information.

After a lot of hard work, the federation has launched its Football Connect platform, which, as its name suggests, seeks to connect all FRF members and constitutes one vast system of Romanian football activity, all uploaded onto one single platform.

Step by step, each entity and each person involved in football (club, county association, match official, player, referee, etc.) will have their own account, and all player registrations, match official reports and other administrative tasks will be done electronically. As a result, people who live outside the capital will no longer have to travel to Bucharest and, logically, save time. Everything will be done quickly and easily.

Licences and transfers first
The Football Connect system became functional in January, when it started to be used for the annual visas that are mandatory for all players. Transfer operations were introduced shortly thereafter to coincide with the start of the domestic winter transfer window on 29 January.

To ensure the smooth roll-out of the visa process, clubs were scheduled into a four-week timeframe by geographical criteria (county) and the operations were performed by each club’s representative at FRF headquarters (visas put directly onto the players’ IDs and entered electronically into the Football Connect system).

A similar initial process was applied to enter transfers. By the end of the transfer window, the Football Connect database had registered 7,162 players and more than 500 transfers, with 169 clubs using the platform to obtain visas, including 14 first league clubs, 20 second league clubs, 76 third league clubs and 59 youth clubs.

Futsal and women’s football next
Futsal and women’s football clubs are next up, with their players set to be registered on the platform this summer. Before long, each player at every level will have their own digital record of their personal statistics and career-related data.

“The Football Connect system, which the FRF started developing out of nothing in June 2016, is crucial in the new digital era. It is a solution that will be of huge short and long-term benefit for everyone involved in football, and it will also ensure better management of information and administrative work as a whole, both within the FRF and for each club or other affiliated member. We have a service team that is permanently available to help our members to perform tasks digitally and make their lives easier,” said the FRF president, Răzvan Burleanu.

This article originally appears in UEFA Direct 184