Few know that the rule that regulates the offside is one of the oldest in football: it dates back to no less than 1863, when the king of sports began to be regulated. Despite the fact that it has undergone changes over the years, its essence has remained intact, as well as the indignation that it usually generates. Not even the VAR it has been able to silence the protests of those who feel affected by its application. In Qatar 2022the FIFA will implement a detection system that – they hope – will reduce doubts and, above all, suspicions.
This is the semi-automated technology for detecting offside, a system that includes 12 cameras capable of capturing the movements of the ball and 29 data points for each player in order to calculate their exact position on the field. The ball will also have a sensor (the IMU) that will send information 500 times per second to a video room. Thanks to this monitoring and artificial intelligence, if a player is caught in an illegal position, a warning will be sent to the room which, after verifying it, will inform the judge.
Is this enough? Pierluigi Collina, president of the FIFA Referees Committee, has pointed out that technology is only a tool to help resolve more quickly. That is, the referees will always have the last decision.
Soccer is one of the sports that has most resisted the contributions of technology. In the case of VAR, its opponents accuse it of having stolen “its most human side” from the game, which in reality represents a defense of error disguised as nostalgia.
That Qatar becomes the World Cup of technological innovations is not a surprise. Having chosen a tiny country with no major football culture as the venue required a radical transformation.
None of this, however, should bury the enormous mistake of having brought the greatest celebration of the most beautiful of sports to a place where women’s rights are restricted, homosexuality is considered a disease and labor abuses are a daily act. We cannot forget that.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.