The Federation of International Football Association(FIFA) has approved the use of a new technology called Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT) that will help the Video Assistant Referee(VAR) at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in November.
It s expected that the Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system will replace manually linking lines across the pitch to players and selecting when the ball has been kicked, something the current VARs do. It is intended to make decisions quicker and more accurate while also providing improved visualisation for fans.
The technology works by a sensor being placed in the centre of the Adidas “Al Rihla” World Cup balls. The sensor will be recording data 500 times a second to detect when the ball has been kicked. All players will be mapped to create an AI model of their position — a similar method to goal-line technology.The time needed to make a VAR offside decision should be reduced from an average of 70 seconds to 25, while fans inside the stadiums and viewers watching on television will be provided with a 3D animation to clearly show the offside.