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“LIGA PRO is the only goal which satisfies all football regulations”: Hanno Zwickl, ERHARD SPORT, on the globally innovative goal designed by him, the football goal LIGA PRO
1) How did you arrive at the idea “We need a new football goal”?
This experience was the first impulse for all the thought that followed – but it took quite a time until I had achieved the solution. Further motivation to keep going was provided by other injuries involving goals and the many other dangerous situations which occurred at practically every match. In July 2012 I finally had the brilliant idea: The ground frame must go. And from this point everything progressed very quickly …
2) If you were to describe the LIGA PRO football goal in two sentences, what would you say?
The LIGA PRO goal eliminates the danger of injury from the ground framework as this no longer lies on top of the ground, but is buried under it. Our new goal is like a safely constructed car with front and side airbags etc., all other goals are like older car models without airbags & co. And if I may add something else, For me and also for the whole brand name ERHARD SPORT there are always two important aspects for the development of new sport equipment which have priority above everything else: The safety aspect and functionality for all players and for people who have to work with the equipment taking care and maintaining it. With LIGA PRO goals, we have combined this perfectly.
3) Which specifications were you given by the international and national football associations?
That was the most interesting thing: If the regulations of the FIFA, UEFA, DFB and other national associations are taken, there are no details given of a ground framework – the designs included in the regulations are even drawn explicitly without these constructions. This means, strictly speaking, the LIGA PRO is the only goal system which corresponds to international and national rules. Taking a look at reality, the associations have allowed great freedom of design in the regulations for the area around the goals; but using the ERHARD SPORT Tor LIGA PRO, this is no longer necessary.
4) What development work was required exactly: Did you build “dummies“ and position these on a football pitch somewhere at the back of beyond?
I have to admit, the first dummies were all built in my head. I developed and tinkered with the LIGA PRO Tor for myself until I was convinced that it was optimal before presenting the plans to the craftsmen at our production site in Burgbernheim, Germany. Within a very short time the first goal had been built and we installed the first goal posts with the embedded frame and at our company site. This possibility was of course, perfect – nobody realised that we were testing something new and yet we had a design model for registration of a patent application and naturally, we could try out an absolutely unique model.
5) Which materials did you use for LIGA PRO?
Highest quality aluminium was used for the profile. The non-removable net hooks, which also ensure additional safety, are made of stainless steel.
6) How many seasons with the construction last – what is your forecast?
If used properly, the construction will provide reliable use for up to 20 years.
7) Which tests were required on the LIGA PRO before it was accepted by the football associations?
None at all; which doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t have taken tests required of us, but there are none defined by the football associations. Only the balls must be tested, for all other stadium equipment the unwritten rule applies: If newly developed equipment is installed, then it is considered to be approved by the technical experts from clubs and stadium operators and will then be requested by other clubs.
8) LIGA PRO will be installed first in the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich. Are there already plans for installation in other locations where LIGA PRO will soon be shot at?
Due to our long and very trusting partnership with the FC Bayern Munich we knew from the start that this new development would be installed first in the Allianz Arena. It was quasi a matter of honour. Naturally, information about this kind of project quickly spreads around the “scene” so that we how have many requests from professional clubs.
9) What do people outside your team say about LIGA PRO?
I am very pleased with the first reactions from players and goalies when they see or play with the LIGA PRO in the Allianz Arena. Some days ago a technical planner who approves the pitches for all major UEFA and FIFA games said to me very relieved: “Good, that the risk of injury has been removed at last”. This is naturally very pleasing and is exactly the objective and purpose of the new goal!
10) Will LIGA PRO sooner or later become the new standard for football goals and will we then see ERHARD SPORT in the national league, Champions League and also at World Championships?
I hope so. As I already said, there is already great demand so the goals will soon be seen in many stadiums and in many good games and tournaments.
ERHARD SPORT INTERNATIONAL – the equipper for all those who make room for sport:
With more than 200 employees, the family company, founded in 1880, manufacturers sport equipment for the global market. With an assortment of more than 12,000 items, ERHARD SPORT INTERNATIONAL is one of the market leaders in this industry. The core competencies of the company especially include planning and equipping of sport halls and facilities throughout the world. ERHARD SPORT INTERNATIONAL is a regular supplier for major international events such as world championships and Olympic games.
Further information about ERHARD SPORT INTERNATIONAL:
www.erhard-sport.com and www.facebook.com/erhardsport, Online shop: www.erhard-sport.de