Semi-automated VAR offside technology on the way to the World Cup in Qatar

The board of the International Football Association (IFAB), a football legislator, says semi-automated VAR offside technology, powered by artificial intelligence, is set to be implemented for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

The time required to make an offside decision, in some cases up to four minutes, is a major problem with VAR. The semi-automated technology developed by FIFA should reduce this to 3-4 seconds, providing the VAR with faster and more accurate information.

Semi-automatic VAR offside: What is it and how does it work?
– Bracket for the World Cup finals and match schedule

In the last few years, he has been extensively tested in FIFA competitions and has been used “live” in matches for the first time at the Club World Cup in February, and has been considered a great success by FIFA.

IFAB says further discussions will now take place, along with an analysis of the tests, before FIFA makes a final decision on its implementation for the World Cup, which begins in November.

“It looks very good and very promising,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino told a news conference on Monday. “Our experts are researching [the trials] before deciding whether to use it for the World Cup or not. “

Pierluigi Colina, FIFA’s referee, added: “My personal opinion is that I am very confident that we can continue with this. We want to achieve accuracy, faster solutions, also more accepted solutions. We have seen in matches where the semifinals – automated offside is completed, these goals were achieved.

“He uses the same process as goal line technology and we saw that he was very well received by the football community, no one commented on that. We are convinced that the same reaction, in terms of acceptance, can be given in the semi-finals – automatically offside. “

Trials will also continue on ways to give an extra advantage to attacking players in all offside situations in all matches.

“We are considering that a very minor offside is not so appropriate to be punished in modern football,” added Colina. “So we’re doing this experiment. Unfortunately, races where these attempts were allowed were suspended or abandoned for almost two years due to the pandemic.

“So now we have tests [youth football] in the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden, and we will certainly come to conclusions once we have the evidence and figures from these tests. “

Semi-automated off-VAR technology will also provide much improved graphical visualization of the offside solution, and replays will be available to stadium broadcasters and screens within 25 seconds.

The system uses 12 custom cameras installed under the roof of the stadium, instead of the standard TV cameras as it is currently. It allows for a much more accurate estimate of when a pass has been played and tracks 29 player data points to create an AI model of the offside situation.

The technology will automatically send an alert if there is a player in the offside position, then the VAR must assess whether that player is active and / or influence the game and if so, send a notification to the assistant referee to raise the flag.

By speeding up the process to a few seconds, we hope that fans will no longer feel that they have lost the spontaneous celebration of a goal for fear that VAR will ban a goal, in most cases.

The Premier League, along with other major leagues, hopes to introduce technology for the 2023-24 season after the successful start of the World Cup.

IFAB also confirmed that it will conduct tests to limit the loss of time, as the ball is usually in play for only 54 minutes from the 90s.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.