The FIFA continues to place technology on the field of play, as it announced that it will implement a system called SAOT (semi-automated offside technology) to detect offsides and that it will be implemented in the Qatar World Cup 2022.
SAOT uses multiple cameras to track player movements plus a sensor on the ball, and will quickly display 3D images on stadium screens at the tournament to help fans understand the referee’s call.
The new offside system promises faster and more accurate decisions than are currently made with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, despite the fact that the 2018 World Cup prevented major errors in offside calls. .
“Although these tools are quite accurate, this accuracy can be improved,” said Pierluigi Collina, who heads FIFA’s refereeing program and worked on the 2002 World Cup final in the pre-tech era.
Each stadium in Qatar will have 12 cameras under the roof synchronized to track 29 data points on each player’s body 50 times per second. The data is processed with artificial intelligence to create a 3D offside line that is alerted to the VAR team of officials.
A sensor on the match ball tracks its acceleration and gives a more accurate ‘kick point’, when the decisive pass is played, to align with data from the offside line, said FIFA’s director of innovation, Johannes Holzmüller, in an online briefing.