The introduction of the new technology will be a major upgrade for the VAR system.

FIFA has been tweaking and testing a lot of technologies in the last few years. In our rapidly evolving world of technology, football has also been hit by the technology fever to improve its gameplay. The Video Assistant Review system and goal-line technology have already shown promise for improving the game in the past. 

The VAR, however, has also been heavily criticized for its time-consuming procedures and accuracy problems. FIFA is now revamping the VAR system and introducing the semi-automated offside technology – a move that could revolutionize the game. The technology made a successful debut in the FIFA Club World Cup. It will now be used in the 2022 UEFA Super Cup final and the 2022 UEFA Champions League group stage. It will also be used at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

FIFA to use the latest semi-automated offside in the upcoming FIFA World Cup 

The latest semi-automated offside is set to feature in the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the UEFA Super Cup. Speaking to the media. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said, “At the FIFA World Cup in 2018, FIFA took the brave step to use VAR technology on the world’s biggest stage, and it has proven to be an undisputable success.”

He added, “Semi-automated offside technology is an evolution of the VAR systems that have been implemented across the world. This technology is the culmination of three years of dedicated research and testing to provide the very best for the teams, players and fans who will be heading to Qatar later this year. And FIFA is proud of this work, as we look forward to the world seeing the benefits of semi-automated offside technology at the FIFA World Cup 2022”. 

What is semi-automated offside technology & how different is it from VAR?

In contrast to the old VAR system, where decisions are made using broadcast cameras, the semi-automated offside technology will be a massive improvement. 22 cameras will be installed on the roof of the stadium under FIFA’s new semi-automated offside technology. This is to monitor a player’s exact position during play.

A total of 29 data points on each player will be on work to cover all limbs and extremities that can cause offside. In addition to all this, match balls will also be fitted with sensors. In the 2022 World Cup, the official match ball ‘Al Rihala‘ will be fitted with sensors that will transmit data 500 times a second. Since conventional cameras are only capable of providing 50 frames per second. This technology is bound to provide a more accurate decision.

A 3D animation video will then be generated using data collected from ball sensors, rooftop cameras and artificial intelligence. To provide a detailed representation of every action. Moreover, fans can also view these technical decisions on their screens and on giant screens in the stadiums.

Semi-automated offside technology is the future

Developing semi-automated offside technology hasn’t been accomplished overnight by FIFA. This technology has been in development for over three years by the football governing body. It has received rave reviews from the footballing diaspora so far. It also got good reviews at events like the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 and the FIFA Club World Cup, where it was used.

The semi-automated offside will also restore the joy of instant moments in football. VAR has been constantly criticized to have killed that humane aspect of the game. According to Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina, the semi-automated offside will give a decision within four to five seconds. 

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