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FIFA to use semi-automated offside technology for 2022 World Cup in Qatar

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system was witnessed in the 2018 FIFA World Cup which helped eliminate howlers to a great extent.

Saurabh Ganguly Editor

Updated - 1 July 2022 6:08 pm

FIFA

The world’s football governing body FIFA announced on Friday that a new semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) will be used in this year’s World Cup in Qatar. The introduction of this technology which uses the limb-tracking camera system will ensure more accurate and quick decisions.

From what is being learned apart from multiple cameras, SAOT will also use a censor in the ball and will also show 3D images on the big screen that will allow spectators at the stadium to make sense of the call made by the referee.

While the goal-line technology was used in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system was witnessed in the 2018 FIFA World Cup which helped eliminate howlers to a great extent, the new technology is expected to further increase the accuracy of marginal off-side calls.

“Although these tools are quite accurate, this accuracy may be improved,” said Pierluigi Collina, head of FIFA’s refereeing programme was quoted in an AFP report.

For the effective use of this technology, each stadium in Qatar set to host the World Cup will have a dozen cameras underneath the roof all of which will be synchronized to track 29 data points on each player’s body 50 times per second. The given data is processed with artificial intelligence to create a 3D offside line based on which VAR officials will be making the decision.

“We have been working on a more consistent use of VAR, in particular concerning the line of intervention,” said Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, at a news briefing.

“We are aware that sometimes the length of checks or reviews is too long, in particular, concerning offside,” he added.

The SAOT technology is being proposed as a solution to these problems but only time will tell how effective it proves to be in crucial moments of the match.

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