FIFA ready for automatic offside for 2022 World Cup

Potential revolution ahead for international football. As reported by the Times, FIFA, through Arsène Wenger (Head of Global Football Development of the world body), has declared herself ready to automatic offside on the occasion of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Wenger must have witnessed some experiments with the new technology. It is planned to send a instant message to the linesman when a player is offside, then it would be up to the assistant to assess whether or not he is interfering with the action.

“I think the automatic offside system can be ready for 2022. Automatic means the signal goes directly to the linesman, who receives it on a watch, indicating whether the player is offside or not.“, ex-Arsenal manager said.

A final option is represented by a semi-automatic system, in which the message reaches the VAR and not the linesman. Wenger, however, said he was more in favor of the fully automatic system. The idea is based on the impact of VAR on the dynamics of the game, with goals canceled even minutes after the action is over and the team cheers.

“On average, it takes wait about 70 seconds, sometimes 80, others even longer before VAR assistants evaluate a position. The situation is very difficult to appreciate, it is very important because we see too many celebrations canceled for marginal situations: it is for this reason that I consider it to be a fundamental step forward.“, Wenger added.

The last big test took place on the occasion of the Club World Cup of February, with a system devised by the Swedish company TRACAB (ChyronHego) able to inform linesmen in 5 seconds. However, FIFA needs to get the green light from IFAB to be able to introduce the system at the World Cup.

Winston Ferguson

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