In recent years, with the introduction of VAR as its flagship, FIFA has increasingly sought to modernize football. Thus, the emergence of new technologies to optimize the application of the rules is now commonplace and the organization has begun to test a new tool in the framework of a testing event held in Spain. All with a focus on the Qatar 2022 World Cup. UEFA intended to debut semi-automatic offside technology (SAOT) in the European Super Cup, which Real Madrid won 2-0 against Eintracht Frankfurt, but in the end, it did not happen.
The automatic offside that will be used in Qatar 2022 and was not used in the European Super Cup: how it works
The duel between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt for the European Super Cup was going to be the debut of the semi-automatic offside that will be used in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. However, it did not come into action for a simple reason: there were no plays that required its implementation. Furthermore, UEFA announced that it will employ the tool from the group stage of this season’s Champions League.
As UEFA explains, the system will work thanks to 12 specialized cameras installed under the roof of each stadium. They will be capable of tracking 29 different body points per player, data that will be taken 50 times per second. Additionally, the ball has a data sensor that sends information 500 times per second to the VAR to accurately detect the exact moment of the pass. If there is an infringing position, an orange warning sign will be displayed on the screen to indicate the likelihood of an infringement. In any case, the VAR will check the moment the ball is hit and the offside line, alerting the referees in less than 25 seconds.
Football fans will breathe a sigh of relief. Everyone remembers that play by Mbappe in the National League final against Spain. The player was offside for many but there was no technology to corroborate it. Those who had bet on Spain’s victory did not have a great day. However, this kind of action will not happen at the World Cup. Even those nations that are not participating, and have never participated in a World Cup like Singapore, will be able to go to betting sites in Singapore to bet on their favorite Qatar World Cup team without fear of losing their bet due to such a mistake. At the same time, while the World Cup is on the way, they can check the odds on the Champions League, Premier League, or any European league. The only provider in the country that can legally offer this type of betting is Singapore Pools. The bets will be safe due to the different payment methods offered.
A total of 188 tests have been carried out since 2020, including all Champions League matches last season, the knockout phase of the Women’s Champions League, and the entire Women’s EURO, as well as all other club competition finals.
How FIFA tested innovative offside rule technology ahead of Qatar 2022
During the FIFA EPTS Event, world football’s governing body tested a new tool that aims to optimize the offside rule, always with the highest possible degree of fairness. Specifically, FIFA’s idea is that the application of the offside rule should be automatic, without human intervention that presents a margin of error. All as part of the mission to modernize football led by former French coach Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Director of Sports Development.
In this way, a system of cameras and focus points placed on the body of the players, as part of their clothing, was tested. All with the aim of making the tools non-invasive for the players. With the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán as the setting, the test was carried out and Sevilla issued a statement to that effect, which was also accompanied by a video of the tests.
FIFA to use artificial intelligence to detect offside in Qatar
This technology will be equipped with a chip inside the ball that will allow data to be shared 500 times faster. These will be reviewed in the VAR, like the moment the player strikes the ball. There will not be a need to enter a cloud to download a file or video, it will be instant as you played a streaming platform video. Furthermore, the roof of each stadium will be accompanied by 12 cameras that will track the movements of the ball.
By mixing ball tracking data, player limb data, and using AI, the technology automatically sends a notification to the VAR room when an attacker receives a ball that was in an infringing position, from the moment his team-mate touched the ball.
However, despite the technology that will be implemented in the championship, the referee team in the hall will personally check the offside line, the moment when the ball is hit, etc. The process will take only a few seconds.