Offsides have always been a bone of contention in football. Usually, the referees have borne the brunt for getting the big calls wrong, and it has cost teams at all levels of the game.
With the World Cup on the horizon, FIFA officials are eager to help the referees and they have provided an adept support tool that will supposedly minimise the number of errors made.
VAR, which was originally introduced at the 2018 World Cup, has faced stern criticism. This has occurred when referees have routinely overturned their original decision after consulting the pitch side monitor and watching countless replays.
However, Qatar is poised to roll out semi-automated offside technology, which could go some way to quashing the unease among fans who harbour doubts about novel methods used to improve the game.
Essentially, the new offside technology — which has already been tested at the FIFA Arab Cup and FIFA Club World Cup — will see the video match officials receive automatic updates, and decisions will be reviewed manually before they are communicated to the on-field referee.
This new technology is rather innovative as there will be 12 dedicated tracking cameras placed underneath the roof of the stadium that will chart all the movements of the ball.
A sensor will be placed inside the ball, which will then show the precise moment that a player has made contact. It is thought that it will be easier to figure out whether a player strayed into an offside position when they received a pass.
There will also be a 3D animation element to all this, as any potential offside will blow up on a giant screen with a replay. This should simplify things for the fans, as they would rather not have to endure an agonising wait before simply finding out a player was offside, which could see their country have a goal chalked off.
Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher is among those who have endorsed the new technology.
He said: “I think the news is very exciting. When you see a major change like this, it brings a new dawn to football and a new way of playing.
“It’s going to bring accuracy, and as well as that, it’s going to speed everything up, which is what everybody wanted. It’s a major step forward.”
While VAR has had its issues over the past few years, the new technology will supposedly cut down the number of controversial incidents. After all, the fans just want to enjoy the footballing extravaganza that is the World Cup.
Anticipation levels for the World Cup will hit fever pitch over the coming months, and from a betting perspective, bookmakers are ready to jump on the bandwagon. At the best FIFA World Cup betting sites across the world, including Australia, you will currently see plenty of outright markets advertised, including which team will reach the Final or triumph in Qatar. Once the tournament gets underway, you will find a selection of great betting lines per match at Unibet and bet365, which will also include player props for bettors to enjoy, such as who will win the Golden Boot.
Of course, it is hoped that with greater accuracy, the new offside technology will prove to be seamless. If the technology passes the test, then this will be just what referees need to take them out of the spotlight.