FIFA are planning to introduce the use of robots as assistant referees and plan to implement the new technology in time for the 2022 World Cup.
FIFA’s director of technology Johannes Holzmuller has outlined his plan for the new system which would see assistant referees replaced with computer technology which automatically generates offside lines.
If the lines were crossed an alarm would go off – like goalline technology – and the system would also be able to identify which body part was offside. It would even take into account the size of a player’s feet.
The first trial of the ‘robots’ has already taken place at December’s Club World Cup in Qatar, won by Liverpool.
‘’The idea behind the offside technique is to speed up the review of such game situations by the video assistant referee’ Holzmuller explained on German broadcaster ARD, ‘Basically, it is about the video assistant no longer creating the lines for offside questions to determine a possible offside position.
‘’The principle is that the system creates the lines automatically and sounds an alarm if there is an offside position.
‘’That saves time, so the video assistant’s review of game situations could be quicker when it comes to offside.’’
Football’s law-making body IFAB (International Football Association Board) has already given the green light for a 10cm ‘tolerance zone’ in major leagues next season.
Concerns about TV cameras not having a sufficient number of frames per picture to make such close calls have been raised, but Holzmuller’s new system aims to end that issue.
More tests are expected to happen by the second half of this year.