The 2018 Football World Cup has come and gone. There was emotion and excitement aplenty, with a number of outstanding matches, many of which had fans collectively holding their breath in anticipation. The online sportsbooks were, of course, exploding with activity, with fans making match predictions, backing favourite teams, and even those brave enough to put money on overall winners. The champions have now been crowned, but those who still want a bit of gambling action can still get their fix with the best online casino games!
At least, it was a thrilling World Cup for some fans. However, a problem that is still present in many sporting events was brought to light, specifically by the opening game. Host nation Russia went head-to-head with Saudi Arabia, which seems like it would be a great match. But, for those who are afflicted with colour blindness, the match was all but unwatchable.
Why? Because, very simply, those with colour vision deficiency (CVD) could not tell the difference between the two teams. Football tends to lose much of its appeal when you aren’t sure which team you should be cheering for.
A Major Overlooked Problem
As the game kicked off, Twitter all but exploded with Tweets from colour-blind fans expressing their frustration. The colours of the teams, red and green, are a primary concern for those who suffer from CVD. One Tweeter pointed out that he could hardly tell the difference between the players and the pitch, while another declared the match to be a complete nightmare.
Given that colour blindness affects roughly one in every twelve men, and about one in every two hundred women, this was a major oversight on the part the match organisers. Even within the industry, Norwegian football couch Lars Lagerbäck has expressed the frustrations he has personally encountered, having CVD. This alone points out how serious the problems are that can arise, both within the sporting industry, and among the tens of millions of dedicated fans.
The question sports fans on Twitter are now asking is; why was nothing done to alleviate the situation?
Colour Blind Awareness
Most frustrating of all is that major steps have previously been taken to ensure that such situations do not occur. The English Football Association consulted with the Colour Blind Awareness group, to find solutions for exactly such dilemmas. A booklet was produced that not only identifies the problems, but also suggests multiple solutions.
The booklet recommends, for example, that team colours not focus entirely on red or green. If red or green is involved, the booklet suggests that patterns be inserted, or other identifying features, to ensure that one outfit cannot be mistaken for another.
But a full redesign of a team’s outfit need not even be necessary. For example, in the Russia vs Saudi Arabia game, a simple, small addition to one of the team outfits would have gone a very long way. Such as an armband.
Sports Revenue Losses A Real Risk
Speaking on the issue, the Colour Blind Awareness website states that CVD is an important factor, and one that cannot simply be overlooked or ignored. The statement concludes, sharply, that if it is overlooked, it could well have an overall impact on revenue generated by the sporting industry in general.
Poignant words, but ones that seem to have been ignored. At least in the case of this very public match, and one that had tens of millions of eyes focused on it across the world. Will steps be taken in future sporting events? We hope to see they are!