Using FabricTech to stop cheating in the Beautiful Game

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by Guest Columnist Philip Lawrence

Football referees find it notoriously difficult to spot shirt-pulling as it is a foul which is usually fairly subtle and almost always over and gone before anyone can register what actually happened. Many seasoned pros – think Sergio Ramos, David Luiz and Harry Maguire – go through their entire careers as serial offenders and are rarely caught out. At least that’s how it has been up to now.

ColorFlash has developed a really cool solution to the problem – a football shirt that changes colour and flashes a highly visible warning when someone gets a handful and gives it a tug.  The ColorFlash shirt is pulled, the fabric flashes in a contrast colour and the cheat is caught red-handed – or blue-handed or white-handed or whatever colour chosen by the football club. Then the shirt returns to its normal colour in extended real-time.

The real prize is that the referee and his assistants will not miss the fleeting nature of the pull and the culprit will be nailed. ColorFlash has already gained support from first-class football referees on two continents and coaches at leading clubs in Europe.

Beyond football this can be applied equally to other sports where pulling at the opposition’s clothing is not allowed including basketball and handball.

But it’s not just sport. The fibre and textile technologies developed to stamp out one key element of cheating in football feed into a whole host of applications which will have massive implications in a diverse range of markets. Safety, industrial, medical, surgical, apparel, defence; the list goes on. Colour-change technologies far beyond basic stretch scenarios have now been developed. Currently, approaching 40 use-case scenarios have been identified as this has become an all-embracing colour-change project within the wider scope of materials science.

ColorFlash is a project of Estonian-based company NKTech R&D.

CEO and founder, Philip Lawrence says:

“The ColorFlash project has morphed into something that was entirely unimaginable from the jumping off point of helping referees catch the shirt-pulling cheats. It really has gone sprinting off on so many different tangents but, at the same time, in the best possible ways conceivable. It’s really exhilarating.

“However, we always return to our core principles with the football shirt. Look, basically we have invented VAR Plus and referees just love that! We have received 100% approval to date.

“We have conducted our research from the outset with the support and approval of two prominent universities in the materials technology field – one here in Estonia and one in the UK. It has been immensely valuable to maintain strong links with these institutions as we have tended to spark off each other so everyone benefits.

“Now our ColorFlash patents are being filed internationally to protect our key technologies.”

As matters progress ColorFlash will be the subject of a digital security offering (DSO) in Q1 2021 giving crypto investors the opportunity to invest in a security token linked to company stock.

Lawrence continues: “At this very moment ColorFlash is looking for pre-DSO investment and this could be an excellent opportunity for someone to get in at the ground floor for a fraction of the public offering cost. We are willing to offer participation for outstanding value so any potential investor of any size should not be afraid to initiate a conversation and, of course, we are exceptionally crypto friendly.”

Anyone interested in seeing the shirt-pulling cheats in football stopped should take a look at the website and explore what is going on with ColorFlash.