Tougher, More Accurate Officiating in Qatar; FIFA Assures

By: Gyang Dakwo

VAR offside decisions will be quicker and more accurate at the World Cup after the introduction of new technology developed by FIFA over the last three years, referees chief Pierluigi Collina said on Friday.

The “semi-automatic offside technology” will rule on even the tightest offside decisions more quickly than under the previous system and a 3D animated rendering of the incident will be broadcast for fans in the stadium and on TV.

“It gives us the possibility to be faster and more accurate in terms of decisions about offside,” Collina told reporters in a briefing ahead of the tournament.

“Just to be clear, being faster does not mean we will have an instantaneous assessment of offside. It will be less than now, certainly, but we cannot have an answer in one second, or basically live.

“One thing I want to underline is the final decision always belongs to the match official — on the VAR, the video assistant referee, on the field of play, to the referee.”

Twelve cameras in each stadium will track 29 points on the body of each player and a sensor inside the match ball will send data to the VAR operations room 500 times a second to allow a highly accurate assessment of when the pass was played.

The new technology has already been tried out at two FIFA tournaments and in test matches at all the stadiums hosting matches at the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Referees had been instructed to sanction anything that would endanger the health of another player with red cards, including elbows to the face, studs-up tackles, and dangerously high feet.

“Here are presented the best players in the world,” Collina said. “It would be a shame if some of these players would be unable to play because of an injury caused by an opponent.

“So the first message we went through was to protect the safety of the players. Something that may endanger the safety of an opponent, players and coaches should expect a red card.”

Simulation, although less popular than before the advent of VAR, would continue to be punished, as would dissent, the Italian added.