New camera surveillance system at National Stadium to monitor players' behaviour also
If you plan to create trouble at the National Stadium during a concert or sporting event, don't.
And if you're a sportsman thinking of throwing a game away because you're on the take, don't.
Why not? Simple. It's because your every move is being watched by a new state-of-the-art surveillance system so powerful it can even see your pimples from 200m away.
It is so effective it has helped in the prosecution of hooligans, vandals and rioters in Europe.
The Panomera Multifocal Sensor System is a camera system that has struck fear into the hearts of troublemakers. Hooligans supporting German football clubs warn one another about it.
It has been installed at the National Stadium and will be put to the test again at the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, which kicks off on Nov 22.
The camera system has been a well-guarded secret. The Sports Hub and the police declined to comment on its existence when approached for this report.
The Football Association of Singapore said they would study any new measure that can be used in the fight against match-fixing.
In September, The New Paper met Mr Roland Meier, head of Panomera, at sports security event Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2014.
Mr Meier said the Panomera system has helped in the prosecution of hooligans in Europe.
"When we uploaded videos on Facebook showing the hooligans' behaviour in the stands, we were surprised by the thousands who had commented they disliked the Panomera system," he said.
"We learnt later that these were fans of the football club whose members had been arrested by the German police. The fans warned one another online, saying that the Panomera is able to see every dot on your face."
At some European stadiums, Panomera cameras are focused on football players during matches, said Mr Jensen Quak, sales manager of Dallmeier International (Singapore).
Mr Quak told TNP in an e-mail reply: "The idea is to have statistics of the game and to see if all the football players did the right things with regard to strategy and such.
"Face recognition is something which will be available in the future, to match the pictures of well-known people."
Given the Panomera's capabilities, the surveillance system has the potential to combat match-fixing and illegal betting activities, said two anti-fraud sports experts.
Mr Christian Kalb, a sports betting expert from France, said such systems will become more important in future.
"Not only in the fight against violence or extremism, or for sports-related activities, but also to detect 'illegal' scouts, match fixers and professional betting traders," he added.
"It can also be used to identify 'strange' people around the sportsmen on a regular basis."
Match-fixing investigator Terry Steans said that although the Panomera system is good at gathering intelligence and information, it would be a challenge to catch culprits in the act.
The former global investigation coordinator for world football governing body Fifa said the system would only be effective against match fixers who attend a game.
But you would also need to recognise the runners and spotters.
These suspects invariably pretend to be fans and signal subtly to corrupt footballers on the field.
Mr Steans said: "You have to know what to look for. Any system is only as good as its operators."
The camera system, first launched and patented in 2010 by German company Dallmeier, was used at the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
A 17-lens Panomera camera has been deployed about 200m from the seating areas at the National Stadium.
Unlike traditional single-lens closed-circuit television cameras, the Panomera system is able to record a wide scene and zoom in on a face that is 250m away. Several police or security officers can monitor the entire surveillance area concurrently and independently without affecting one another's operation.
The Panomera system, used in 25 stadiums worldwide, can also be utilised to monitor seaports, streets and airports.
Mr Kalb said: "It's important to highlight the possibilities of the system through the media. That's what we did with doping in cycling to reduce the risks related to new drugs. We highlighted the detection possibilities and it worked.
"I think betting syndicates and betting data providers would have to find some new strategies to escape detection by these systems."
"The fans warned one another online, saying that the Panomera is able to see every dot on your face."
- Mr Roland Meier
PASSPORT PHOTO FROM 100M AWAY
You can't see it, but it's there, watching your every move.
Troublemakers have been singled out by the Panomera Multifocal Sensor System.
In February last year, Mr Axel Hellmann, executive board member of German football club Eintracht Frankfurt, told German newspaper Bild that the identification of 15 offenders at a fireworks riot was possible thanks to Panomera.
He said the images that led to the arrest of the rioters were razor-sharp.
What is crucial to Mr Bernhard Niesen, head of stadium operations at Borussia-Park Monchengladbach, is the immediate sharing of positive identification of suspects with the police.
He had told German security portal Sicherheit.info in 2012: "Because of the high resolution, we are able to take a passport photograph of the offender, even from 100m away."
The New Paper was given a demonstration by Mr Jensen Quak, sales manager of Dallmeier International (Singapore), at Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2014 in September.
He showed how the Panomera system could render correctly-exposed image even when half of it was exposed to sunlight and the other in the shadows.
The details were sharp and, at 30 frames per second, the recorded movements of subjects looked natural.
It is understood that some variants of the Panomera cameras can "recognise" subjects from 250m away.
How does Panomera achieve this?
Mr Quak explained: "The Panomera is a multifocal system, which means it has lenses that focus at different distances, and we are able to combine these lenses' images into a single overview scene.
"It is this technology that allows us to have unsurpassed resolution performance at long distances."
Panomera Multifocal Sensor System
PERMANENT SUSPENSION FOR THE CORRUPT
When asked about the Panomera system, The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said it would study any new measure that can help the association and the authorities battle football corruption.
FAS spokesman Gerard Wong said it would permanently suspend any player or official convicted of match fixing or football corruption from all football activities.
He added: "All players must also undergo random lie-detector tests.
"This measure has had a big impact on reducing match fixing and corruption in Singapore and we have been commended by Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation for it."
The FAS urges members of the public to contact the authorities whenever they have evidence of match fixing and corruption.