FIFA launches automatic offside: how and when it will be

The new system will notify the VAR if there was an offside in the action (Reuters) (LEE SMITH /)

After the landing of the VAR in football, the FIFA takes its next step in the inclusion of technology and it will do so through a system that will automatically detect offside. In this way, not only will the margin of error be completely eliminated, but time will also not be wasted in the review of each action, which will make the matches more fair and fluid.

This change was already on the agenda of the Mother House of World Soccer, which announced in June 2020 that it sought to “develop a semi-automatic technology to signal offside, to give the VAR more information than simplify referee decision-making and optimize image analysis”. Now it will disembark in the Arab Cup that begins on November 30 in Qatar.

The contest that will have its eleventh edition will have an artificial intelligence system that was installed in the six stadiums that host the tournament. When this technology detects a footballer being offside, it will automatically alert the referee of the game. VAR and he will be able to notify the main judge by the intercom immediately.

The system has already been tested in some European stadiums, but never in official matches, but only in tests carried out at the Etihad, the Allianz Arena and the La Cartuja Stadium, for example. To obtain good results in the Arab Cup that takes place between November 30 and December 18, FIFA will make a formal request to the International Board (IFAB) for it to approve it.

FIFA seeks to cut waiting times (Reuters)
FIFA seeks to cut waiting times (Reuters) (CARL RECINE /)

If indeed the British body approves it, the automatic offside could be used no less than in the Qatar World Cup 2022. In this way, the advance by Arsene wenger, development director of FIFA, in October, when he declared: “There is a good chance that offside will be automated in 2022.” At that time, the former England Arsenal manager during a meeting with the press in Paris did not want to give further details: “I am obliged to keep it a secret, but it will be the next of the great evolutions of arbitration ”.

Thus, the billions of fans of world football could be on the verge of a practical solution that would eliminate forever the delays that are often seen today with the VAR, which takes several minutes to determine if there was an offside in a dangerous action. Now, as with the Hawk Eye at the goal line, the notification of its existence would be automatic.


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