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Surviving the World Cup, by Antonio Farach

A look at some of the recent infographics from The Times of Oman/ Al Shabiba graphics desk

February 26, 2015

[This is a guest post by Antonio Farach*, about the recent infographic production of the The Times of Oman/ Al Shabiba newspapers.]


I’m still working with the momentum of the World Cup, which was our biggest event in 2014. After that we had the two most important football competitions in the Middle East, the Gulf Cup of Nations in November and the Asian Cup in January. These are some of the infographic visualizations which I created, some of them in collaboration with my colleagues.

Gulf Cup

King Fahd International Stadium

Some time ago, before getting involved in the maelstrom of data visualization, I wanted to do again the very very classic stadium-cutaway. I made it simple. Read more about this infographic here.

(image: Times of Oman / Al Shabiba)

Probabilities analysis: Who will pass to semifinals?

Each match (the black dots) has three possible outputs: Win, loose or draw. There are 6 possible results for those matches. Combining the 6 possible outputs we have 9 possible scenarios for each group, nine different new position tables. The cyan circles show when a team qualifies and magenta when not.

(image: Times of Oman / Al Shabiba)

Asian Cup

Venues & Schedule

Like in other football tournament projects, there use to be at the beginning of the coverage, a piece showing the stadiums and detailing the schedule, so here I designed a symmetrical double. At the very beginning, because the 2015 AFC Asian Cup was held in Australia, I tried to use as main layout flowing shape, some shape that can be related to the boomerang flight path without being to realistic. In some moment I decided for the infinitum path, that gave me the symmetry that I needed.

I wanted the first page to be mostly illustrated and the complementary one more infographic.

As leitmotif I used the aboriginal pointillism style so I asked my colleagues Winie Ariany and Marcelo Duhalde to illustrate the stadiums following that dot painting style. Together, they plot around 19,000 dots!

I used small symbols for each stadium, same that I used in the map and the (schedule) left page, so the both pages were fully connected in content and in aesthetics.

In the infinitum-shape’s eyes I’d put some related historical information: quantity of stadiums and attendance and quantity of match days, both chronologically from 1956 to 2015. Read more about this project on Behance.

(image: Times of Oman / Al Shabiba)

Ages & Clubs Abroad

This is one of several graphics that we published in the Al Shabiba newspaper of Oman during the coverage of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

Age and abroad experience are critical factors in football. 367 players were registered to play the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, all of them in ages which range from 18 to 35 years old, from which, 84 are playing abroad. In order to help the readers to predict which squads could rule the tournament, we published this piece that shows the age and experience of all 367 players in foreign countries. All of them distributed in four groups of four squads each. Almost all the squads registered 23 players, except for North Korea which has just 22.

All squads’ players are ordered from youngest to oldest​. The darker bars are players on foreign clubs.
Age average are shown to see which squads are younger or older than the opponents. The magenta line is the age average for the whole tournament

I created this piece together with Winie Ariany, who gave me the faces of the youngest and oldest player; and Sreemanikandan Satheendranathan, who help me with the database and the Arabic version. Also Ahmed Badawy collaborated with the translation. Check it on Behance

(image: Times of Oman / Al Shabiba)

Dirty Play

Australia was crowned champion of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, being the third most dirty-playing team in the tournament during the group stage (understood by dirty-playing team, the one which commits many fouls and receives more yellow cards). Also We found that from the four quarter finalists, three of them had dirty play, so we ask: It’s the competitiveness pushing too far the fair play?

Here a graphical report showing each team behavior at the group stage of this tournament, so you, dear reader, can judge it.

The curved lines are representing a single match and are connecting the two teams which played that match. The countries were ordered according with their average of fouls per match.

Uzbekistan was the most progressive: from the fairest play in the tournament at first match until their “infame” third game against Saudis. 14.5 fouls per match, that was the average along all 16 teams at the group stage. Jordan-Iraq was the most dirty match (41 fouls and 8 yellow cards). More about this project on Behance.

(image: Times of Oman / Al Shabiba)


*Antonio Farach is the infographics diretor of award-winning newspaper Times of Oman. His work has been recognized by the Society for News Design several times since 2003, in the areas of Infographics and design, and you can follow him on Behance, NewsPageDesigner and LinkedIn.

Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.