Thursday, December 8

Celtic and Rangers could be impacted by new automated offside technology

FORMER referee Des Roache has revealed how new automated offside technology could impact both Celtic and Rangers in Scottish football.

The Semi-Automated Offside technology is being trailed in the 2022 Uefa Super Cup between Real Madrid and Frankfurt tonight and it will be likely rolled out further over the course of the season.

Scottish football is set to welcome VAR this season after the World Cup, but it will be a while before the offside technology is introduced.

Speaking about the new system, Roache told “New technology will come in at the top level of FIFA competitions and UEFA competitions. Possibly the English Premier league.

“It will certainly not be in Scotland for a while. Bearing in mind it has taken the Scottish league three, four years to get VAR. 

“The Automated offside technology would need to be trialled vigoursly. Everyone would need to be confident with it and comfortable with it. It will be a trial and error process. 

“The experts that produce the technology are very very clever and very good in what they do so I can imagine there is a high percentage of them making the correct decisions but it is something that needs to be thoroughly tested. 

“Celtic and Rangers will be impacted more by the decisions that are made correctly or wrongly.

“Celtic and Rangers are predominately the attacking team in games and are in the opposition’s penalty box most of the time. Therefore, there is more chance for VAR to be used for offside, penalty kicks etc. Whether it goes for or against them.”

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FIFA has announced that semi-automated offside technology will be used at the FIFA World Cup 2022™ in Qatar starting on 21 November, offering a support tool for the video match officials and the on-field officials to help them make faster, more accurate and more reproducible offside decisions on the biggest stage of all.

The new technology uses 12 dedicated tracking cameras mounted underneath the roof of the stadium to track the ball and up to 29 data points of each individual player, 50 times per second, calculating their exact position on the pitch. The 29 collected data points include all limbs and extremities that are relevant for making offside calls.

Al Rihla, adidas’ official match ball for Qatar 2022™, will provide a further vital element for the detection of tight offside incidents as an inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor will be placed inside the ball. This sensor, positioned in the centre of the ball, sends ball data to the video operation room 500 times per second, allowing a very precise detection of the kick point.

By combining the limb- and ball-tracking data and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology provides an automated offside alert to the video match officials inside the video operation room whenever the ball is received by an attacker who was in an offside position at the moment the ball was played by a team-mate.

Before informing the on-field referee, the video match officials validate the proposed decision by manually checking the automatically selected kick point and the automatically created offside line, which is based on the calculated positions of the players’ limbs. This process happens within a few seconds and means that offside decisions can be made faster and more accurately.

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