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Stop bickering, FIFA will use AI cameras to track players to help make offside calls at the 2022 World Cup

By Kenny Yeo - on 6 Jul 2022, 1:52pm

Stop bickering, FIFA will use AI cameras to track players to help make offside calls at the 2022 World Cup

(Image source: Fifa)

FIFA has just announced that it will use a system of AI-powered cameras and sensors in balls to help make accurate offside calls at the upcoming 2022 World Cup.

As part of this system, a sensor will be placed in the centre of the ball which sends data about its position on the field 500 times every second.

To track players, FIFA will be using 12 cameras which will be placed under the roof of stadiums. These cameras use machine-learning technology to track 29 points on a players' body.

Software will tell operators in the VAR room when an offside offence has been committed. An alert will then be sent to officials in a nearby control room who would then validate the decision and tell the on-field referee the call to make.

It sounds complicated but FIFA claims a decision can be made in seconds. The data generated will also be used to create automated replays that will be played on stadiums and TV broadcasts so that spectators and fans can see why the call was made.

This new system is yet another example of how FIFA is embracing technology to help referees officiate games better. However, not everyone is on board. Some fans argue that it's sapping the fun and unpredictability out of games.

Legendary ex-referee Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, said:

I know that someone called it ‘robot offside’; it’s not. The referees and the assistant referees are still responsible for the decision on the field of play.

He stressed that humans are still in-charge of the game but said that the system will help referees and linesman make the correct calls.

Source: FIFA via The Verge, Sky Sports News

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