Riedel Communications is partnering with broadcast solutions and service provider EMG to enable clear, reliable communications between Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League referees, their assistants on the football pitch, and the video assistant referees working remotely at the VAR Replay Centre at Proximus Basecamp, home to the Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA). Together, Riedel’s Bolero wireless intercom and Artist digital matrix intercom systems support RBFA referee teams in all the Jupiler Pro League stadiums and in the VAR Replay Centre to ensure flawless communications as calls are made and reviewed.
“With an intercom solution that enables crisp, clear conversations between referees on the pitch and our VAR Replay Centre in Tubize, we can be sure we’re getting outstanding quality in the communication process,” said Stephanie Forde, Operations Director, Professional Refereeing Department, at the Royal Belgian Football Association. “Despite the distance between each stadium and the VAR Replay Centre, the sound is exceptional. Both the Bolero and Artist systems are easy to use, so our teams have no trouble making the right connection, even in the midst of an intense match. With Riedel’s professional support, integration and configuration of the system was straightforward.”
The Riedel solution connects the VAR Replay Centre at the Proximus Basecamp, located 25 km south of Brussels in the small town of Tubize, with all Jupiler Pro League stadiums across Belgium. Signals moving between different stadiums and the VAR Replay Centre travel over the Proximus MPLS network, which is designed for premium sports and events — not only for VAR, but also for remote production of Jupiler Pro League competitions.
Riedel supplied all the stadium kits, each equipped with Bolero-S stand-alone wireless intercom systems including antennas, beltpacks, and run headsets for referees working on the pitch. At the VAR Replay Centre, five VAR desks/stations, plus one spare and a supervisor desk are equipped with Riedel’s Artist 1024 intercom system with 1216 intercom panels that support overlapping matches (in parallel) per match day. Over the last two match days of the regular league competition, the system is expanded with flight packs to support up to nine concurrent matches.
“Proximus Basecamp is the home of Belgium’s national teams and referees, and the VAR Replay Centre there sits at the heart of the sports technical department for the Belgian FA and its regional wings, ACFF and Voetbal Vlaanderen,” said Kristof Vanden Eynde, Riedel’s Sales Manager for Belgium. “We’re proud that our intercom systems have become an integral part of match-day operations at the VAR Replay Centre and at stadiums across Belgium. It’s exciting to see the results in the live broadcast as referees effortlessly call on their remote colleagues for the final word on a particular call, and we know it makes a difference for the JPL fans!”