This Wednesday UEFA announced that the semi-automatic offside, a technological tool designed to speed up and make refereeing decisions more reliable, will be used on August 10 in the European Super Cup (Real Madrid-Eintracht Frankfurt) and in the group stage of the Champions League. It should be remembered that at the beginning of July, the FIFA announced that he would put this system into practice in the Qatar World Cup which starts on November 21. The tool allows the position of the players and the ball to be established at all times, making it easier to stop plays that are offside, without replacing the judgment of the referees.
“This innovative system will allow the teams of the VAR determine offside situations quickly and with more precision, thus improving the development of the game and the consistency of decisions,” said Roberto Rosetti, the head of refereeing at UEFA. “The new system will work thanks to specialized cameras capable of following 29 different body points per player”specified the European body in a statement, adding that 188 tests had been carried out since 2020.
“The system is ready to be used in official matches and to be put into operation in each venue of the Champions League”, confirmed Roberto Rosetti.
The new offside detection system depends on three technical factors:
– The first is a sensor called Inertial Measurement Unit, located inside the Al Rihla, the official competition ball manufactured by Adidas. The device sends data 500 times per second to the VAR room detailing exactly when a player touches the ball.
– The second is a system of 12 cameras installed under the roof of each stadium. They have been developed to track the ball and players, detecting 29 specific points on the body that count towards offside. All this information is sent 50 times per second and is used to calculate the exact positions of the players in the match.
– The third factor is that camera and ball data are processed by AI, which will send an alert to the VAR when an advanced position is detected.
An interesting point to note is that the new offside detection technology will not only alert the VAR. Also will generate 3D animations that represent the game and will be displayed on the screens of the stadiums, as well as on television channels. It will be similar to a system that measures whether the ball has completely crossed the goal line or not, to confirm a goal. In any case, the sanctions are not automatic, since the video assistant referee will analyze the situation and notify those present on the field of play. The final decision will be in the hands of the referee and his assistants.
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