World Cup 2022: Qatar tournament will feature semi-automatic offside technology with ball sensors and cameras | football news

Qatar 2022 will be the first FIFA Men’s World Cup to use semi-automated offside technology in an effort to improve the speed and accuracy of decisions.

The technology, successfully tested at the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup and last year’s FIFA Club World Cup, will see referees of video matches receive offside alerts, with decisions manually validated before being communicated to the referee on the field.

Al Rihla’s official ball for the Qatar 2022 World Cup (photo: Adidas)

Communication with fans inside the stadiums will also be enhanced with a 3D animation to be shown on giant screens and for viewers at home, showing how the offside decision was made.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “Semi-automatic 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 traveling to Qatar later this year.

Gianni Infantino seeks re-election as FIFA president
Gianni Infantino has hailed the arrival of semi-automatic offside technology

“FIFA is committed to harnessing technology to improve football at all levels, and the use of semi-automatic offside technology at the FIFA World Cup in 2022 is the clearest possible evidence.”

How semi-automatic offside technology works

The new technology uses 12 dedicated tracking cameras mounted under the stadium roof to track the ball and up to 29 data points of each individual player, 50 times per second, calculating their exact position on the pitch.

The 29 data points collected include all members and limbs that are relevant to making offside calls.

The Lusail Stadium will host the final of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Lusail Stadium will host the 2022 Qatar World Cup final

The adidas Al Rihla Official World Cup Match Ball provides an additional vital element for the detection of tight offside incidents as an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensor will be placed inside the ball.

Located in the center of the ball, this sensor sends data from the ball to the video operating room 500 times per second, allowing for highly accurate detection of the kick spot.

By combining limb and ball tracking data and the application of artificial intelligence, the new technology provides an automatic offside alert to video match officials inside the video operations room whenever an attacker who was in an offside position at the time receives the ball. the ball was played by a teammate.

Adidas presents the Al Rihla ball for the Qatar 2022 World Cup (photo: Adidas)
The official match ball will have a sensor placed inside it (photo: Adidas)

Before informing the referee on the field, video match officials validate the proposed decision by manually checking the automatically selected kick spot and the automatically created offside line, which is based on the calculated positions of the players’ limbs . This process occurs within a few seconds and means that offside decisions can be made more quickly and accurately.

The World Cup on display in Qatar
The World Cup trophy on display in Qatar

Once the decision has been confirmed by the video match officials and the on-field referee, the same positional data points that were used to make the decision are generated into a 3D animation that perfectly details the position of the limbs of the players. players at the time the ball was played.

This 3D animation, which will always show the best possible perspectives for an offside situation, will then be shown on the giant screens in the stadium and will also be made available to FIFA’s broadcast partners to inform all viewers of the clearest way possible.

Analysis: New technology is a big step forward

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Former referee Dermot Gallagher expressed his enthusiasm for the new semi-automatic technology that FIFA launched ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher told Sky Sports:

“I think the news is very exciting. When you see a major change like this, it brings a new dawn to football and a new way of playing. It will bring precision and also speed everything up.” which is what everyone wanted.

“We have seen situations in the Champions League and the Premier League where very hard offsides took time due to the complexity of them.

“This will remove most of that, which has to be a good thing. I think the referees will accept it honestly. It’s very accurate and the problem with VAR that they currently have is the starting point, which is when the ball is kicked. “. .

“Then the ball travels a long distance and you have to figure out where the attacker is in relation to the defender and it takes time, we’ve seen that.

“This constantly tracks the ball and the player. He instantly knows at what point the ball is played and where the defender was in relation to the striker.

“In the 30-35 seconds it takes in the Premier League to decide if there is an offside, it will now be reduced to one second. It will be quickly projected to the fans inside the stadium, which removes the doubt in their minds.” quickly. It’s a big step forward.”

Collina: faster and more accurate decisions

Pierluigi Collina (AP)
Pierluigi Collina refereed the 2002 World Cup final

President of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina:

VAR has already had a very positive impact on football and we can see that the number of major errors has already been drastically reduced. We hope that semi-automatic offside technology can take us one step further. We are aware that sometimes the process of verifying a possible offside takes too long, especially when the incidence of offside is very tight. This is where semi-automatic offside technology comes in, to deliver faster and more accurate decisions.

“The tests have been a great success and we are very confident that, in Qatar, we will have a very valuable support tool to help referees and assistant referees to make the best and most correct decision on the field of play. I know someone called is ‘robot offside’; it is not. The referees and assistant referees remain responsible for the decision on the field of play.”

When and where is the 2022 World Cup?

The Championship season will pause after the weekend of November 12/13.

The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar in the winter months instead of the usual summer months, due to the heat.

The tournament starts on monday november 21 at Al Thumama Stadium when Senegal assume the Netherlands in Group A, with England against Iran being the second match of the tournament in Al Rayyan. That game is followed by hosts Qatar against Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium.

England finish Group B with matches against USA in friday november 25 and versus Welsh in tuesday november 29 following Wales’ progression through the play-offs.

The knockout stage begins on Saturday December 3.

The final will be played at Doha’s Lusail Stadium a week before Christmas on sunday december 18.

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