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Fifa planning to use ROBOT referees for offside calls in 2022 World Cup in latest radical technology change

, Fifa planning to use ROBOT referees for offside calls in 2022 World Cup in latest radical technology change

FIFA wants robo-refs to make offside calls by the 2022 World Cup.

Under the plan, being developed by Fifa director of technology Johannes Holzmuller, the offside “lines” would be automatically generated by computer technology.

Fifa are planning to use robot referees for offside calls in the 2022 World Cup

Fifa staged the first trial of the technology used in the system during the Club World Cup won by Liverpool in December.

And now world chiefs want to roll it out swiftly, with the target of being able to use it full-time at the first winter World Cup.

German Holzmuller explained: “The idea behind the offside technique is to speed up the review of such game situations by the video assistant referee.

“Basically, it is about the video assistant no longer creating the lines for offside questions to determine a possible offside position.

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“The principle is that the system creates the lines automatically and sounds an alarm if there is an offside position.

“That saves time, so the video assistant’s review of game situations could be quicker when it comes to offside.”

VAR offside calls have become extremely contentious with football’s Law-making body Ifab giving the green light for the Prem and other competitions to introduce 10cm “tolerance zones” from next season.

The change to the handball laws meaning shoulders arm no longer counted as part of the arm should also reduce the number of “armpit offsides”.

But even so, there have been complaints that the limited number of frames per second for TV pictures means that players can be judged to be 50cm or more further from their actual position by the time the camera catches up with them.

, Fifa planning to use ROBOT referees for offside calls in 2022 World Cup in latest radical technology change

Holzmuller’s system, which using a program to define the position of the players, aims to end the issue – although he conceded it has yet to be perfected.

He told German broadcaster ARD: “Touching the ball can take less than the time between two frames.

“There are several milliseconds in between.

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“If you are unlucky, the complete ball contact is not in the picture.

“The aim is that the offside technique is more accurate than the television picture and the exact moment the ball was delivered.

“Any system has to draw the line at the right place to see if the body parts allowed to score are offside.

“It also has to take into account different lengths of players’ feet.

“So far, the techniques tested would only have known a kind of average skeleton. The program still has to learn the differences.

 

“The system could only identify if players are in an offside position, so things like ‘passive’ players who are not interfering would still have to be determined by the VAR and referee.

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“But with this system, that would be all they would have to look at and it would make their final decision much faster.

“The final decision would be taken by them – it should always remain that way.”

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