What is Semi-Automatic Offside VAR at World Cup 2022? How it works

VAR at the World Cup is always destined for controversy.

Even if inevitably decided correctly, the video assistant referee remains a fallible specter lurking over events on the pitches around Doha and beyond.

FIFA pushed the technology with a semi-automatic offside system that will be used for the 2022 edition of the tournament.

So far we’ve seen Argentina face offside more times in a single game than they did all of 2018 – although many of those decisions were a direct result of an inexplicably powerful highline deployed by Saudi Arabia.

Lautaro Martinez scored two offside goals in that game, although one seemed highly controversial after it surfaced on the semi-automatic system – but how does it work?

RadioTimes.com brings you all the details you need to know about semi-automatic offside calls at the World Cup.

You can find more World Cup features at: TV program for the 2022 World Cup | 2022 World Cup Kits Ranking | World Cup 2022 Stadiums | The best players at the World Cup

What is World Cup semi-automatic offside VAR?

Every cue ball has been microchipped while 29 body parts of every player are tracked at any given time.

Using a combination of trackers and chips, the technology can pinpoint the exact point of contact between the foot and the ball, allowing the VAR to pinpoint the exact moment the ball is played.

The semi-automated system sends an alert to the VAR and immediately creates the infamous lines. All that remains is for the VAR to confirm the accuracy of the technology, keep an eye on the decision and relay the final decision to the on-field referee.

Additional VAR officers have been brought in to oversee the implementation of the new technology, with decisions now taking just 25 seconds on average, as opposed to several minutes as in the Premier League.

It remains to be seen how well the system will be received by fans. On the one hand, it should be more accurate than leaving officers to draw lines by hand across grainy footage.

However, when decisions are so close, many fans would probably rather just keep playing. We will see.

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