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The “semi-automatic offside” validated by FIFA for the World Cup in Qatar


After the introduction of video assistance to refereeing (VAR) during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, FIFA will set up a new system during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar: the “semi-automatic offside “. Explanations.

This is news that should delight spectators and viewers who find the time long with each offside check. FIFA has just formalized, through a press release, the introduction of “semi-automatic offside” at the next World Cup. This tool is intended to speed up arbitration decisions and make them more reliable.

This technology, tested during the Arab Cup (end of 2021) and during the Club World Cup (early 2022), makes it possible to establish the position of the players and the ball at any time. However, it does not replace the appreciation of the referees who keep the last word.

At the World Cup in Qatar (November 21-December 18), “semi-automated offside technology” (SOAT) will use 12 cameras placed under the roof of the stadiums to track the ball as well as the 22 players ( up to 29 data points monitored 50 times per second). In parallel, a sensor placed in the center of the ball will send data to the viewing room 500 times per second, which will make it possible to determine precisely when the ball is played.

Thanks to artificial intelligence, the new technology will automatically transmit an offside alert to the video referees each time the ball is received by an attacker who is in an offside position at the time of a pass. The video referees will then be responsible for manually checking whether the offside is effective; if this is the case, they will notify the main referee, who will make the final decision.

According to FIFA’s statement, “this technology provides a support tool for video referees and on-field referees to help them make faster, accurate and consistent decisions on offside situations“. She is even considered “crucial” by the famous Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee.

At the same time, 3D animations will be broadcast on the stadium screens to allow the public to better understand the refereeing decisions.

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