FIFA uses AI to quickly identify offside situations in football

Viet because is one of the most complicated and controversial rules in football. Because of the many factors involved, it is sometimes difficult for a referee to immediately judge whether a situation is offside or not.

That is also why FIFA, the football governing body, and other associations have introduced an assistive technology called Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to review controversial situations with the help of cameras. . Situations where VAR is used include fouls leading to penalties, red cards and offsides.

The problem is that sometimes the referee takes a long time to consider an offside situation. For example, in the recent match between Team Vietnam and Team Japan in the framework of the 2022 World Cup 3rd Regional Qualifier, VAR took more than 5 minutes to decide that the Japanese player was offside and goals are not recognized. This spoils the tempo of the game and annoys both players and spectators.

Demo uses AI to quickly identify offside situations in football – Photo source: ChyronHego

To solve this problem, FIFA decided to rely on the help of AI and software to speed up the process of handling offside situations.

FIFA tested this technology last year and is expected to first apply it at the 2021 Arab Cup taking place from November 30.

The way the system works is as follows: 10 cameras will be placed along the roof of the stadium. These cameras and other sensors present on the pitch will monitor 29 data points per player 50 times per second. As a result, the system can provide the exact position of the player’s limbs relative to the offside line in real time.

FIFA’s Director of Football Technology & Innovation, Johannes Holzmuller, shared that the AI ​​can send a warning about the possibility of an offside directly to the VAR so the referee can review the situation more quickly.

Mr. Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s global director of football development and former Arsenal manager, shared that the average VAR reference situation takes about 70 seconds. In football, this is a long time and this new semi-automated technology could cut down on game interruptions.

In football, time is an important factor but the accuracy of the decisions that the referee makes is also something that everyone cares about. Therefore, besides the time factor, the new AI technology also supports VAR for the arbitrator to make a more accurate judgment.

FIFA is also looking to put this new technology to use in the 2022 World Cup, which could attract half the world’s population.


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