SocaLoca co-founders Lionel Foy and Sayf Ismail are providing more opportunity for footballers across the world with their innovative platform.
The concept was born in 2016 when the two first met, and now the SocaLoca app is used by national federations in Belize and Cameroon for tournament organising.
There are two main goals of the platform. Equalising talent identification and becoming a hotspot for football tournaments and data.
Foy and Ismail recognised that the pathways for footballers in some countries weren’t as equal as others. Smaller or less resourced countries and continents simply don’t have the infrastructure that the big footballing powers do globally.
The app operates in a similar way to statistics platforms like FotMob or Transfermarkt, where player profiles and stats are collated for fans and other interested parties to view. However, there is also a self-management aspect to it.
Footballers can download the platform and build their own profile, showcasing their achievements, statistics, results and more for anyone to see. This goes from juniors all the way up to seniors.
This gives those players from lesser resourced regions the opportunity to be seen and scouted like any other player, from when they’re first starting out to battling their way up through the footballing pyramid.
While there are concerns around the data-sharing implicit to the platform, measures have been put in place. Players aged between 7 and 12 must be registered by their guardians and have a limit on what information can be displayed on their public profiles.
The global interconnectedness that an app like SocaLoca offers is unlike anything seen in world football to date.
The other side of the platform is its use in tournament organisation. This links in with the player profiles, where players are registered within tournaments and competitions and have their results and statistics linked to their profiles.
SocaLoca’s Competition Management Module has already seen successful use in Uganda, Belize and Cameroon, and can be used by anyone on the platform.
Football Federation Belize is now using the SocaLoca app to organise and run all regional competitions, while Cameroon’s national football academy is now a partner of SocaLoca.
Results and statistics in countries all over the world are now available to recruiters and talent identifiers, making it easier for those who would be otherwise overlooked to get their chance.