Huge UK Soccer Team Plans to Chip Players
Manchester Evening News | July 5 2006
MANCHESTER United stars could be fitted with a tiny microchip to help Sir Alex Ferguson track their movements on the pitch.
A chip the size of a grain of rice could be embedded just under the skin of stars including Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville.
Satellites would track its exact position so that United's training staff can pinpoint players' movements during a match or training.
United bosses today confirmed the technology was being considered although no decision had been taken.
But they rubbished reports of a revolt by players who are concerned they could be tracked off the pitch shopping or nightclubbing. It is believed the technology has been used in South America, where footballers have been kidnapped.
It has also been considered by the medical profession in the United States so doctors can access information if a patient is unconscious.
First team coach and former Reds' player Brian McClair, wrote in a column for the official United magazine: "We are continuing to embrace technology in our quest to win trophies.
"The fitness coach recently attended a demonstration of a system that can track the movement of the players by satellite. One or two of the first team players were not too pleased as they thought the gaffer could locate them at any time (not that anyone would be somewhere they shouldn't)."
United spokesman Phil Townsend confirmed the new technology was being considered but insisted there was no player revolt.
He said: "Brian McClair's column is known for being tongue-in-cheek and anyone who takes it seriously has less sense than I thought.
"There is certainly technology out there. We are always on the look-out and if a system helps improve performance we will look at it. But no decisions have been made."
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