FIFA will allow the use of semi-automated offside technology during this year’s World Cup games in Qatar.

World Cup 2022
The 2022 World Cup will be the first one to be played during the winter months. (Image: time.com)

The new system is able to calculate the exact position of the ball, as well as the players who act on the pitch. The technology uses 12 specialized tracking cameras mounted under the roof of the stadium to track the ball, and an additional 29 data points of each player, 50 times per second, to return their precise position.

How the system works

Those 29 collected data points are said to include all limbs and extremities that are relevant in making offside calls. The ball will play an important role in tracking an offside through the sensor, which is located at its center. The sensor sends the ball data to the video operation room 500 times per second, providing pin-point detection of the kick point. The video assistant officials will be alerted on offside positions, but the goal validation will be made manually after checking the automatically selected kick point and the automatically created offside line, which is based on the calculated positions of the players’ extremities.

After the call is made, a 3D animation will be projected onto the big screen inside the stadium so fans can see the outcome.

“Semi-automated offside technology is an evolution of the VAR systems that have been implemented across the world,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said.

“This technology is the culmination of three years of dedicated research and testing to provide the very best for the teams, players, and fans who will be heading to Qatar later this year, and FIFA is proud of this work,” the official added.

Collina: ‘We’re making a step forward’

Pierluigi Collina, the head of the FIFA refs’ committee, believes the new technology will take football a step forward.

“We are aware that sometimes the process to check a possible offside takes too long, especially when the offside incident is very tight,” Collina said. “This is where semi-automated offside technology comes in – to offer faster and more accurate decisions.”

The 2022 World Cup kicks off on Nov. 21, with the final taking place almost a month later on Dec. 18. For the first time in World Cup history, countries will be able to take a 26-man squad to the final tournament. This is an expansion from the 23 players allowed before. Coaches will be able to keep all 15 players not in the starting 11 on the bench, instead of sending some of them to the stands. Club-level rules will carry onto the international meetings, with five substitutions allowed per match in Qatar.

Brazil sits at +500 to lift the trophy on Dec. 18, closely followed at +550 by France. England is third-favorite at +650, while Spain sits fourth at +750. Messi’s Argentina is only fifth, at +800, with Germany behind at +900. Belgium follows at +1100 and Portugal is next at +1200.

The USMNT is now at +1000 to lift the most important trophy in world football.

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