FIFA has confirmed that a semi-automated offside system will be used at this year's football World Cup in Qatar. The new technology utilises a limb-tracking camera system to track player movements and a sensor in the ball. It then quickly shows 3D images on stadium screens at the tournament to help fans understand the referee's call. It is the third World Cup in a dispute that will see FIFA introduce new technology to help referees. The optical tracking system was trialled at the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi earlier this year and had also been tested at the Arab Cup in Qatar last December.
FIFA, football's world governing body, will use the Arab Cup in Qatar to try out a semi-automatic detection of offside using specialised cameras and a dedicated offside video assistant. A camera system would be set up on the roof of each stadium and information relayed to a video assistant who can then alert the referee. "Limb-tracking data extracted from the video will be sent to the operations rooms and the calculated offside line and detected kick-point is provided," according to Johannes Holzmueller, FIFA director of football technology and innovation. "The replay operator then has the opportunity to show it immediately to the VAR. At the FIFA Arab Cup, the assistant VAR at a dedicated offside station can immediately validate and confirm the information."
FIFA World Cup 2022 will feature an updated VAR (video assistant referee) system known as semi-automated offside technology, the international soccer governing body announced today. SAOT will replace the old (and still controversial) VAR system that FIFA first debuted at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The new system features 12 stadium cameras that will track the positioning of both the ball and each individual player, including 29 different data points on each player's limbs and extremities. On top of that, a ball outfitted with a motion sensor will be used in each match, which will deliver live data on a player's position at the time it's kicked. FIFA believes that SOAT will help match officials make faster and more accurate decisions on offside calls.
The LED screen informs of a VAR review following a goal scored by Zayed Al Ameri of Al Jazira Club ... [ ] which was later disallowed during the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 1st Round match between Al Jazira Club and AS Pirae at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium on February 03, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Refereeing decisions at the World Cup have been debated decades later. From whether the ball crossed the line in the final in 1966, through Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" two decades later, to some of the decisions made by the video assistant referee at Russia 2018, any perceived mistake by the referee will be scrutinized by fans years later. Referees need all the help they can get, and they could be about to be given a hand from artificial intelligence. Over the past few years, FIFA has been trialing the use of limb-tracking offside technology, which uses AI along with a series of cameras around the stadium to follow players' limbs and instantaneously creates virtual offside lines for referees.
FIFA is building on the video assistant referee ( VAR) technology that's playing an increasingly important role in soccer. At this year's edition of the Arab Cup, which starts on Tuesday, the organisation will test tech designed to help officials assess whether players are offside, marking the most important trial of the system to date. The offside rule is supposed to prevent players from lingering too close to the opponent's goal. In a nutshell, if an attacking team plays the ball forward when a teammate is ahead of both the ball and the second-to-last defender (including the goalkeeper), that's a foul. In the 2020-21 English Premier League season, 32 goals were ruled out for offside after VAR review.