Fans are still not allowed in football stadiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a move that aims to reduce the risks of the virus spreading.

In the absence of the fans and mascots to escort players into the field, solutions had to be found to compensate for the lack of stadium atmosphere, usually brought about by the bouncing noise of the crowd.

It is with this in mind that for the television production of all its competitions, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has made the decision to introduce innovations that will allow for optimum and enjoyable conditions for viewers.

Ahead of the Total CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup semi-finals set to be played behind closed doors in Morocco and Egypt this weekend, the following measures have been taken to enhance viewing experience.

  • Augmented reality

This aims to enhance the features and the graphic design of the International Feed for the CAF games. The Augmented reality is used to generating state-of-the art virtual camera carpets to insert club logos or graphic messages such as #StaySafeAfrica campaign.

The innovative configuration implemented by CAF is based on an off-site technology that allows integration of any graphics by enhancing the master camera fed into an external hat which continuously records data and can then display any graphic design in the field.

With this simple solution, it is possible to add the most relevant data from each match in an interactive and engaging way, and to increase the graphic potential of each match.

  • International enhanced mix

Even though the matches are played behind closed doors, CAF has decided to maintain the fervor brought by the fans and to continue to offer viewers this special atmosphere in the stadiums on the occasion of each big match.

Extensive research and audio mixing has made it possible to recreate a soundtrack of the ambiance of each stadium, the supporters and chants corresponding to each club.

Several hours of soundtracks were listened to and selected in order to obtain the best extracts representative of a night-time match atmosphere in a stadium.

Particular attention has been paid to designing a neutral atmosphere in the event of a match on neutral ground.

The production of this live soundtrack is also innovative by the fact that it is being produced off-site, which makes it possible to centralize and distribute the enhanced mix to all CAF partners and TV buyers.

The sound operator becomes the director of the soundtrack; as an actor, he is an integral part of the viewer experience by following the traditions of the clubs, the physiognomy of the match and the facts of the game.