2022 World Cup: offside could be detected automatically by an AI

At the Arab Cup next week, FIFA is reportedly preparing to test new technology aimed at making the refereeing of a football match more precise.
Thanks to 12 cameras distributed on both sides of a stadium, an artificial intelligence set up by Hawk-eye, the FIFA service provider in charge of video refereeing, an offside position would be automatically reported to the referees in charge. of the VAR (Video Assistant Referees). This first experiment live should take place in six Qatari stadiums, precisely to prepare for the World Cup in Qatar next winter.

A skeleton modeled in 29 points

According to information from the English media The Times, the technology implemented by Hawk-eye tracks the body of each player on 29 points. Thanks to this skeletal modeling, she is able to identify the tip of the body that would possibly be out of play in half a second.
The AI ​​would also be able to detect the precise moment when the ball was touched, in order to make an informed decision. She instantly transmits her observation to the referee in charge of the video who, once he has validated it, gives his verdict to the central referee.

If you follow football news regularly, you have no doubt heard of such detectors. Some major European stadiums, such as the Etihad Stadium (Manchester City), and the Allianz Arena (Bayern Munich) are already equipped with this technology on an experimental basis but, for the moment, do not use it in refereeing decisions. Several championships are closely interested.

The Times indicates that depending on the results of these first live tests, the next meeting of the IFAB (International Football Association Board), in March, could decide to equip all the stadiums of the next World Cup with its anti-out technology. Game.
A friendly tournament between some selections should also take place in Qatar in March and could allow further testing of this device.

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Historically, the FIFA World Cup has always allowed FIFA to experiment with new refereeing technologies. Again, opposition from many football fans to this innovation is expected. Semi-automated refereeing could create unusual situations where a tiny offside cancels out a goal and distorts the beauty of the sport.
Future tests will tell us if the technology is ready to be adopted and if, in the future, the national championships will want to adopt it as well.

Source : The Times

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