FIFA Kicks a Big IT Goal

11 Jun 2002
Being one of the backroom boys involved in bringing the World Cup to a global audience is akin to being part of a circus team, says Gerard Gouillou, the chief information officer of world football's governing body FIFA.

"If you are involved in the business you are part of the circus family," he says, speaking from Seoul in the lead up to the kick-off for World Cup 2002. "In May last year, one of those committees said the IT was a nightmare — they did not see how it could be done.

"It was only on June 26 last year, in Seoul, that we had the first meeting with Avaya."

The enterprise networking spin-off of Lucent was destined to sign later that year as the lead technology partner.

The pure mechanisms of establishing an IT system for the Cup - running administration support, security, ticketing, accommodation, internet and the results system - was a huge task, and it was not made any easier by the special nature of this year's tournament. Because the tournament was organised in two countries, two organising committees had to be coordinated.