Robot Linesmen to be used in 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

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Since the world football governing body, FIFA, decided to give Qatar the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there have been reports of a series of innovations expected to change the game forever. One of the innovations fans might see in this edition of the tournament is Robot Linesmen.

Note that since Gianni Infantino became the president of FIFA on 26 February 2016, the 52-year-old Swiss football administrator has been trying to introduce a couple of changes, both controversial and otherwise. One of such changes which he is very determined to establish is the introduction of the “semi-automatic offside” system (robot linesmen).

Reports from Zurich, Switzerland, where the headquarters of FIFA is located, confirmed that the 2022 FIFA World which will kick off on November 21 and end on December 18, 2022, might not just be the first World Cup in the Middle East, it might also be the first World Cup that will be officiated by Robot Linesmen.

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This will bring football closer to the total digitalization of the game and will serve as a follow-up to the introduction of the video assistant referee (VAR) and the goalline technology.

The new technology known as Robot Linesmen is also known as a “semi-automated offside” system which would aid the main referee to make decisions related to offside faster.

FIFA tested the technology in the 2022 FIFA Club World which took place in Qatar in February. Afterward, most observers claimed that the technology worked flawlessly.

Chelsea, the eventual winners of the club football competition went on to beat a Brazilian side, Palmeiras, 2-1 in the final thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz under the new system.

All things being equal, the technology will be used throughout the forthcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Hence, the one-month-long football festival might be highly digitalized.

How do the robot linesmen work?

Robot Linesmen to be used in 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Don’t be surprised if you still see human beings run to and fro the flanks during the forthcoming FIFA World Cup as usual. This is so because the robot linesmen might not be manly figures acting like the usual linesmen.

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The robot linesmen is simply a new semi-automated offside system that uses 10 cameras to track 29 body parts of each player, with 3D animations showing the decisions on big screens in stadiums.

As mentioned earlier, FIFA tested the technology at the Club World Cup in February 2022 and also tested it at the Arab Cup in 2021.

The result of the test showed that the semi-automated offside system now popularly known as robot linesmen will help to speed up the VAR lines process which has been a source of frustration for football fans so far.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino is expected to present the new technology for analysis and voting at FIFA quarterly meeting later this week. Once the law-making International FA Board vote in favor of the technology, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar would feature the robot linesmen prominently.

Fifa referee chief Pierluigi Collina said: “The referees and assistants are still responsible for the decision on the field of play.

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“The technology only gives them valued support to make more accurate and quicker decisions, particularly when the offside decision is very tight and difficult.”

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