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Solutions sought to problem of poor visuals around marginal offside calls

Leeds United v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Elland Road
(Image credit: Michael Regan)

Technology companies have been asked to come up with better visuals around marginal offside calls by world governing body FIFA.

Firms will be sent datasets of different offside incidents and asked to present solutions to FIFA’s Working Group for Innovation Excellence.

The lines used to demonstrate marginal offside calls currently often leave viewers and even pundits confused as to what the correct decision should be, and FIFA clearly hopes a new system can provide greater clarity.

In a separate but related development, three firms are interested in working on the next phase of developing semi-automated technology to assist referees and VARs with the review process on offside decisions.

FIFA said the next phase should take place “as early as possible next year” after delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The group also continues to work on “VAR light”, the aim of which is to create more affordable VAR systems for use at lower levels of the sport.

Offline testing of more cost-efficient technology was conducted by European football’s governing body UEFA, the Asian Football Confederation and the French football federation, FIFA said.

“Based on the discussions and the results of research and testing, a recommendation on the next steps to implement the VAR “light” concept in the world of football will now be presented within FIFA and the IFAB,” a FIFA statement read.