The Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi is being used to trial new technology which FIFA hope will dramatically improve the video assistant referee (VAR) process.
The ruling body have implemented “semi-automated offside technology” during the tournament, with the aim of increasing both speed and accuracy of decision-making.
The system also involves an animation, both for TV viewers and on big screens at the stadium, to provide a clearer impression than the previous method of drawing offside lines over broadcast footage.
“I think, so far, VAR has had a successful implementation in football, but it can still be improved in the area of consistency,” said Pierluigi Collina, the Italian former referee who is now chairman of FIFA’s referees committee.
“We would like to see VAR used in a more consistent manner in different competitions and countries.
“It is also not yet at the very top of the speed of the decision making process. Being fast and being accurate don’t work together.
“It is very important to be accurate and we tell our video match officials to take the time they need, but we are aware of the need to reduce the time, particularly on offside.”
At the Club World Cup, the four-man team of video officials includes an assistant VAR solely devoted to offside, who makes assessments while play is going on.
The operator has a constant view of the offside line throughout the 90 minutes, not solely when a dispute occurs.
The tournament in Abu Dhabi is Fifa’s final trial of the technology in competition before it will likely be used at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Culled from National News
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