Semi-automated offside technology explained ahead of FIFA Arab Cup

  • Pierluigi Collina, the Chairman of FIFA's Refereeing Committee, joins Living Football show

  • FIFA Director of Football Technology & Innovation Johannes Holzmüller explains the advancement of the tests to date

  • Further tests at FIFA Arab Cup outlined at Leaders MEET in Doha

Pierluigi Collina, the Chairman of FIFA's Refereeing Committee, has described how the latest tests of semi-automated offside technology at FIFA Arab Cup 2021 are “the most important trial so far”, as the systems were explained in the latest episode of FIFA’s Living Football magazine show.

One of the goals of the FIFA President’s Vision 2020-2023 is to harness technology in football to meet the needs of the modern game. Tests have been ongoing to optimise the technology and Living Football explains the benefits for match officials and clarified the way in which it will be implemented.

“Technology is very important and useful in both the pre-match preparation and the decision-making process during matches”, said Collina. “In an offside incident, the decision is made after having analysed not only the players’ position but also, their involvement in the move. Technology – today or tomorrow – can draw a line but the assessment of an interference with play or with an opponent remains in the referee’s hands.”

Football Technology & Innovation Director Johannes Holzmüller delved into the details of how the technology will function.

“We will have a camera set-up installed under the roof of each stadium,” Holzmüller confirmed. "The limb tracking data extracted from the video will be sent to the operations rooms and the calculated offside line and detected kick-point is provided to the replay operator in almost real-time.

“The replay operator then has the opportunity to show it immediately to the VAR,” added Holzmüller. “At the FIFA Arab Cup the Assistant VAR at a dedicated offside station can immediately validate and confirm the information.”

Another of FIFA’s key goals is to optimise the efficiency and efficacy of the organisation and the means of doing so is also explained in this episode by FIFA Chief People, Technology & Operations Officer, Kimberly Morris.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 05:  FIFA Chief HR & Services Officer Kimberly Morris poses for a portrait at the FIFA, the House of Football on March 5, 2021 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/FIFA)