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RIYADH: FIFA officials have announced that semi-automated offside technology will be used at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar which kicks off on November 21.

Bosses of football’s international governing body said the system would provide a support tool for video match officials and the on-field referee to help them make faster, more accurate and reliable offside decisions. more repeatable on the biggest stage of all.

Following the successful use of Video Assistant Referee technology at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in The Vision 2020-23 that his federation would strive to to harness the full potential of technology in football and further improve VAR.

He said: “At the FIFA World Cup in 2018, FIFA took the courageous step to use VAR technology on the biggest stage in the world, and it turned out to be a resounding success.

“Semi-automated offside technology is an evolution of VAR systems that have been implemented around the world. This technology is the culmination of three years of dedicated research and testing to bring the best to the teams, players and fans 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 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“FIFA is committed to harnessing technology to improve the game of football at all levels, and the use of semi-automated offside technology at the 2022 FIFA World Cup is one of them. clearest evidence possible,” Infantino added.

Working with adidas and various partners, and in particular with the Innovation Excellence Task Force and technology providers, FIFA has spent the past few years further improving the VAR system, including the use of technology semi-automated offside.

The new technology uses 12 dedicated tracking cameras mounted under the stadium roof to track the ball and up to 29 data points from each individual player, 50 times per second, calculating their exact position on the pitch. The 29 data points collected include all limbs and extremities relevant to making offside calls.

Al Rihla, adidas’ official match ball for Qatar 2022, will provide an additional vital element for the detection of tight offside incidents as an inertial measurement unit sensor will be placed inside the ball. This sensor, positioned in the center of the ball, sends ball data to the video operating room 500 times per second, allowing very precise detection of the strike point.

By combining limb and ball tracking data and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology provides an automated offside alert to video match officials inside the video ops room whenever the ball is received by an attacker who was in an offside position at the time. the ball was played by a teammate.

Before informing the referee on the field, the video match officials validate the proposed decision by manually checking the automatically selected kicking point and the automatically created offside line, which is based on the calculated positions of the members players. This process happens in seconds and means offside decisions can be made faster and more accurately.

Once the decision is confirmed by video match officials and the on-field referee, the exact same positional data points that were used to make the decision are then generated in a 3D animation that perfectly details the position of the members of the players. when the ball was played. This 3D animation, which will always show the best possible outlook for an offside situation, will then be shown on the stadium’s giant screens and will also be made available to FIFA’s broadcast partners to inform in the clearest possible way. possible all spectators.

The semi-automated offside technology workflow and connected ball technology have been successfully tested in numerous test events and live at FIFA tournaments including the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup and the FIFA World Cup. FIFA Club World Cup 2021.

Further testing will be carried out in the coming months to refine the system before a global standard is implemented to ensure the new technology can be used in the world of football.

Full details on the configuration of semi-automated offside technology and connected ball technology will be presented to teams qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup during the Team Workshop in Doha on July 4-5 and then shared with the audience.

Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, said: “We hope semi-automated offside technology can take us forward. We are aware that sometimes the process to check for a possible offside takes too long, especially when the offside incident is very close.

“The tests were a great success and we are confident that in Qatar we will have a very valuable support tool to help referees and assistant referees to take the best and most correct decision on the field of play.

“I know someone called it offside robot; it’s not. Referees and assistant referees are always responsible for the decision on the field of play,” he added.