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VAR at the 2022 World Cup and How it Works to Detect Offside

VAR at the 2022 World Cup and How it Works to Detect Offside

By wannakPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
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VAR at the 2022 World Cup

VAR technology at the 2022 World Cup is said to be much more sophisticated, because it is supported by a system of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) based on artificial intelligence (AI).

This technology is claimed to be able to help the VAR team make quick and precise offside decisions. The goal, so that the match is not delayed for a long time due to waiting for an analysis from the referee and line judge.

The VAR system with SAOT was first tested at the Club World Cup last season, then used routinely in FIFA and UEFA (European Football Association) official competitions.

The implementation of this technology follows the strong desire of FIFA President Gianni Infantino who wants to exploit the full potential of technology in football and wants to further improve VAR technology.

"In three years (after the 2018 World Cup in Russia), FIFA has indeed been at the forefront of implementing technology in official matches," FIFA claims on its official website.

Actually, how does VAR, which is supported by semi-automated offside technology or SAOT, work?

1.How SAOT-based VAR works

Semi-automated offside technology uses 12 high-tech cameras placed in various corners of the stadium. This AI-based camera can track the movement of the ball and 29 player body parts in real-time.

Recording is done 50 times per second, so it is possible to measure a player's exact location on the pitch at any given moment.

When it is detected offside for example, the VAR system will automatically analyze whether the forward position is ahead of the last defender when the ball is in play or not. Then, the results will be submitted to the referee to determine the final decision.

"The process takes only seconds," explained FIFA on its official website.

After the referee declares the player's position is offside, the VAR system will also automatically show a 3D render image to show the location where the offside occurred. Amazingly, the image is also broadcast to a screen in the stadium and shared on a TV screen or other platforms in real-time.

2.The VAR system doesn't just rely on cameras

At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the official match ball named Al Rihla is also a vital element for detecting offside incidents. This ball is embedded with a special sensor called the Inertial Measurement Unit or IMU.

The sensor is placed in the center of the ball, and can automatically send 500 data per second to the control room seamlessly, enabling very accurate detection of the kick point.

Integrating camera tracking with the SAOT-based VAR system and high-tech Al Rihla ball, offside events no longer cause controversy due to the faulty analysis of the referee or line judge.

"By combining tracking data and applying AI, this new technology provides automatic offside warnings to video match officials in the video operation room whenever the ball is received by an attacker who is in an offside position," added FIFA.

"Offside decisions can be made more quickly and accurately," concluded the world soccer governing body.

VAR or video assistant referee is a video camera technology that is used to help referees lead football matches in an orderly and fair manner according to the rules.

FIFA first implemented VAR technology at the 2018 World Cup which was held in Russia.

After four years have passed, VAR technology is now being brought to the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Since 2018 until now, VAR has also caused a number of controversies in World Cup football matches.

The last time, VAR presented drama in the Netherlands vs Qatar match on the last matchday of Group A for the 2022 World Cup which was held at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar, Tuesday (29/11/2022).

The Netherlands won 2-0 over Qatar and earned the right to advance to the knockout phase.

The Oranje team could have won bigger with a score of 3-0 if Steven Berghuis' goal in the 69th minute was approved by the referee.

However, the referee decided not to authorize the goal after seeing the VAR footage.

Steven Berghuis was judged to have been caught on camera doing a handball in the process of scoring a goal against Qatar.

VAR finally made the Netherlands have to be content with only a 2-0 win over Qatar.

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