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Semi-automated offside technology will be used at the World Cup in Qatar (Read Details)


To track the ball and 29 points on each player, 12 “100% synchronized” multitracking cameras will be mounted on the roof of each stadium. These cameras will send data 50 times per second to calculate each player’s precise position on the field, and a sensor in the middle of the ball will send data 500 times per second to calculate the precise kick-point.

Any time a player crosses the offside line, a signal is sent to the video assistant referee booth, where it can be relayed to the official on the field.

The system, which was put to the test at the Arab Cup and Club World Cup last year, was thought to have reduced the time needed to make offside VAR rulings from 70 to 25 seconds.

“We have a lot of optimism. Pierluigi Collina, head of refereeing for Fifa, declared that it was prepared.

No robot officials
It has been asserted that the rising use of technology has virtually rendered referees powerless to make decisions.

Collina, who officiated the 2002 World Cup final between Brazil and Germany and was named the world’s top referee for six straight seasons from 1998 to 2003, disputes this and asserts that there will still be room for discussion of judgments.

He said, “I read about robot referees. “I recognize that this makes for excellent headlines, but it’s not true.

“The decision-making process still involves the match officials. Only when a player is in an offside position when they play the ball does the semi-automated technology respond. The referee retains discretion in determining whether an opponent was interfered with and whether a handball or foul was committed.

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“Our aim is to have referees make the right calls on the field. There will still be room for discussion if something goes wrong, but the referee may use technology to gain a better picture of what transpired.

Either you are offside or you aren’t
Premier League duo The elite group of referees who will assemble in Qatar two weeks prior to the World Cup for final instructions includes Anthony Taylor and Michael Oliver.

Collina does not see the new offside technology any differently from the systems used to identify whether a ball has crossed the line, despite the controversy surrounding the time required to determine offsides, particularly what have been nicknamed “toenail decisions.”

In the illustrious first game of the Premier League’s Project Restart, it infamously failed when Hawk-Eye failed to detect Aston Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland had carried the ball into his own goal. That doesn’t bother Collina, in his opinion.

Most of the time, technology “works,” he remarked. Among the thousands of wise choices I have made, that is the only one I can recall.

“The accuracy of goalline technology is really good. Everyone is content whether the ball crosses the line or doesn’t by a few millimeters. The same holds true for semi-automated technology. The technology merits credit whether the player is onside or offside.

“We are unable to reduce the decision-making time to four or five seconds. It would be incorrect to assume that. However, we are now at 20 or 25 seconds instead of 70. That is crucial. This system will operate more quickly and precisely.

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