FIFA testing automated offside tech, could be used at World Cup - MrLiambi's blog


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Tuesday, 30 November 2021

FIFA testing automated offside tech, could be used at World Cup

FIFA (the international football organisation with suspect morals, not the hugely popular football game with suspect morals) has demonstrated that its modern incarnation is no longer afraid of innovating on the technological side of football.

Since embracing goal-line technology it's also brought the wonders of video-assisted referees (VAR) to the game, and now it's eyeing up another step in that same direction by testing a complex system to automatically detect offside infringements.

To be clear, this won't be gaming-style instant whistles any time someone is a millimetre offside - instead, 10 to 12 cameras in each stadium will monitor every player on the pitch's position (and their limbs') up to 50 times per second.

If there is an offside spotted, the system will send an alert to the matchday VAR, rather than distracting the referee on the pitch, and the VAR can then decide whether to investigate, presumably based on whether anything actually came of the situation, and whether it was already spotted by the linesman in situ.

The aim is to reduce the occasions when VAR has to wait for ages to determine carefully if an offside should be given, although the system is obviously only in a testing phase. It'll be in place for the upcoming Arab Cup, a smaller tournament on the international scale.

If it's a great success there, though, there's every chance that the system could be in place for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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