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World Cup 2022 ‘turns automated offside system’ favorite with Arsene Wenger

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Automated offside system ‘to be used at the 2022 World Cup and could be in the Premier League by 2023’ with Hawk-Eye cameras that can track every player and the ball before pinging a decision to VAR officials in half a second

  • New Hawk-Eye technology is set to determine offside calls in football matches
  • The system used 12 cameras around a stadium to track each player and the ball
  • It can calculate in half a second whether a player is offside or offside
  • Verdict will be beamed to VAR officials who will make final decision
  • Automated system ‘on track for use at Qatar 2022 World Cup’
  • The technology could be part of the Premier League in time for 2023-24

Technology that automatically detects if a player is offside is on track to be used at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and could be in the Premier League by 2023.

The Hawk-Eye system uses cameras to monitor the movement of both the ball and players to determine if a player is offside or onside at the time a pass is made.

Initially, it will work as a semi-automatic system that sends a message to the video assistant referee (VAR), who then decides whether the offside player interfered with play.

Offside decisions can be automated after the development of new technology

Ultimately, though, the technology could mean that officials on the field are immediately notified whether a player is offside or not.

Hawk-Eye has been conducting non-live tests of their technology this season at the stadiums of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City – the Premier League’s four Champions League representatives.

And according to The Times, the company has informed FIFA that the technology is “ready to use” with just over a year until the World Cup.

FIFA must approve the use of the automated offside technology, which could also occur during February’s FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, a tournament involving Chelsea.

The heads of the referees are confident that the technology can be implemented in the Premier League by the start of the 2023-24 season.

The offside lines used by VAR officials have become a familiar face in the Premier League

The offside lines used by VAR officials have become a familiar face in the Premier League

It is believed that FIFA prefers the semi-automatic option where VAR officials are notified of the Hawk-Eye verdict and then make the final verdict.

It would replace the sometimes controversial VAR ‘lines’ system used to assess whether an attacker is offside.

But it is possible to immediately inform the referee on the field and two linesmen of the decision.

The system uses 12 cameras placed around the pitch as well as artificial intelligence that monitors 29 points on each player’s body using a skeletal player tracking system.

The movement of the ball is also tracked and computers can determine an offside call in real time within 0.5 seconds.

But offside decisions may in the future be made by technology rather than officials

But offside decisions may in the future be made by technology rather than officials

Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s head of global football development, gave his support for the automated offside technology earlier this year.

He said: ‘Automated means it goes straight from the signal to the linesman and the linesman has a red light on his watch that tells him whether he is offside or not.

“Right now we have a situation where the players are on the lines to see if they are offside or not.

‘On average we have to wait about 70 seconds, sometimes a minute 20 seconds, sometimes a little longer if the situation is very difficult to assess.

FIFA's Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger has spoken positively about the plan

FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger has spoken positively about the plan

“It’s so important because we see that many celebrations are canceled after that for marginal situations and that’s why I think it’s a very important step.”

Two weeks ago, Wenger added: “In 2022 at the World Cup we will be much better able to make very quick offside decisions. And it will stop the game less, because that’s what the VAR can blame.’

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