Football: Offside technology already in use at the World Cup


With semi-automatic offside technology, FIFA wants to make the decisions of the video referees faster and more reliable at this year’s World Cup. As the world association announced on Friday, the system will be used in the 64 games of the final round in Qatar in autumn.

“We are ready to use it. We are satisfied with the test results, we continue our work,” said FIFA chief referee Pierluigi Collina. “We want accurate decisions,” added the Italian.

The new measuring technology for offside decisions was last tested at the Arab Cup 2021 in Qatar and the Club World Cup in February in the United Arab Emirates. A 500 Hertz signal in the ball and a dozen cameras that record the player’s movements via data points are used to record the position of players who may be offside even more precisely than before. The data is checked by a video assistant and immediately forwarded to the referee on the field.

Reuters/Matthew Childs

The new technology passed initial tests at tournaments in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates

More accurate and faster decisions

According to Collina, in addition to more precise measurements, they also hope to save time. So far, offside checks would take around 70 seconds, with the new system they can be reduced to around 25 seconds. The fans in the stadium should be informed about the decisions via video screens. FIFA President Gianni Infantino was quoted as saying in a statement: “FIFA wants to continue promoting technology to improve football at all levels.

Referees will not be replaced by robots

Collina again contradicted the accusation that the technology would replace the referees with robots. “I know that some are talking about an offside robot, which is wrong, because ultimately the referee and the assistant referees still decide,” said the former top referee.

An end to the development is not in sight. But: “The referee remains the last decision-maker.” The introduction of the video referee is a success story. “The game is cleaner, there is no more tugging in standard situations,” said Collina – and swallows and simulation have completely disappeared.



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