The offside of the next World Cup could be spotted by an artificial intelligence

It takes an artificial intelligence to determine if a player is in an offside situation! This technology will be tested by FIFA, with the aim of being able to use it for the next World Cup, in 2022.

During the Arab Cup to be held in Qatar in the coming days, artificial intelligence technologies will be used by FIFA’s technical service provider, Hawk-Eye, to report offside cases. These situations are often controversial, because it is sometimes difficult for the referees to determine them for sure, even with the help of video refereeing.

First experience in Qatar

In detail, Hawk-Eye will track 29 points on the body of each of the players on the field. If one of these points is out of play, as soon as the player touches the ball, the AI ​​will be able to identify it in half a second! The alert is then transmitted to the video referees who will be responsible for informing the referee of the match. At no time does artificial intelligence decide on its own that a player is out of the game, it is a help (admittedly very precise) for refereeing.

This anti-offside technology will be present in six stadiums and will monitor the tournament between 16 teams. If the results obtained during this competition are satisfactory, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) could use this technology for the World Cup, which will also take place in Qatar during the winter of 2022.

The organization of the World Cup is not the only one interested in AI. The referees who practice in the English Premier League hope that it will be able to lend a hand to them from the season 2023-2024. Hawk-Eye, owned by Sony, already supplies the video refereeing systems in the English championship.

Some football fans are already raising objections: this AI could indeed penalize attackers who anticipate passing in front of the defense just before receiving the ball. Situations that will require good human intelligence this time.

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