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25th Nov 2021

FIFA to test automatic offside technology next week in preparation for Qatar World Cup

Callum Boyle

FIFA will test the new technology at the Arab Cup

FIFA will trial their new automatic offside technology next week at the Arab Cup as a test to potentially use it at the World Cup in Qatar next year.

As per the Times, the technology relies on an artificial intelligence (AI) system sending an instant message to VAR when a player is offside, with the official then left to determine if a player has interfered with the passage of play or not.

The technology will be used at all six stadiums used in the Arab Cup – which also takes place in Qatar – and comes after several trials behind closed doors took place at the likes of the Etihad Stadium and the Allianz Arena.

Despite being able to relay an instant message to VAR, the technology will only be classed as semi-automated as the verdict will be sent to VAR and not the referee himself.

One of the companies behind the technology is UK-based company Hawk-Eye, who believe they have created a system that is ready to use.

Should the trial prove to be a success, it is likely that the proposal to use it at next year’s World Cup finals will be formally approved at the International Football Association Board’s annual meeting in March next year.

The report also suggests that there is hope from Premier League referees that the technology would be available to use in the English top-flight in time for the 2023-2024 season.

Insiders who have had access to the technology have been excited by its uses, with people stating that the new technology will be more accurate than the current one in place.

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