OFFSIDE calls has been one of the major talking points at the winter World Cup in Qatar – but it's not all down to the referees.
FIFA have reportedly spent the last three years testing its semi-automatic offside tool.
And it has now been in use at the 2022 World Cupon multiple occassions.
But what is the semi-automatic offside tool?
What is a semi-automatic offside?
The semi-automatic offside tool is a piece of technology being introduced to make VAR decisions quicker and more accurate.
It will be done by a system using computer tracker of 29 body parts of each player, combined with a microchip inside the ball.
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This is expected to determine the positions of the players at the exact moment the ball has been played.
So in the case of an offside situation, the video operations room will receive an automated alert alongside an automatic selected point and an instant drawn lines within seconds of the incident.
Match officials will then have to validate the proposed selected kick point and the drawn offside line before VAR communicates the final decision on the pitch.
Extra VAR officials will be in charge of calling offsides with the algorithm providing a 3D animation to explain a call in a average of 25 seconds.
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And that illustration is then available on the giant screens within the stadium and for TV viewers to take a look at in the next stoppage of play.
Has it been used in the World Cup?
The 3D animation was deployed in the first match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador.
Enner Valencia's opening strike was ruled out for offside within the first three minutes of the match.
Argentina also saw THREE goals disallowed in their shock defeat to Saudi Arabia courtesy of the semi-automatic VAR.
Where else has it been used?
The semi-automatic offside technology was initially meant to be rolled out for the opening fixture of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
However, UEFA have stolen a march on FIFA as it was deployed in the Super Cup fixture between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt.
And now, it has been revealed that they will use the new tool in this season's Champions League.
What has been said?
FIFA'S head of refereeing mentioned that: "There is a talk of robot referees, it looks good but it's not true. On-field referees will continue to be decisive.
"Semi-automatic offside will only be used when a player who is offside touches the ball. If there is interreference in play, it will be the referee's decision."
UEFA'S refereeing chief Roberto Rosetti also had a say and he believes that the semi-automatic offside technology will be beneficial to the match officials, players and fans.
Rosetti said: “We are constantly looking for new technological solutions to improve the game and support the work of the referees.
“This innovative system will allow VAR teams to determine offside situations quickly and more accurately, enhancing the flow of the game and the consistency of the decisions.
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