FIFA has made a firm commitment for the FIFA World Cup 2022  to take full advantage of the possibilities offered by semi-automated technology in soccer.

The goal is to enhance the fan experience on and off the pitch.

A commitment that will be fulfilled through the application and use of various technologies.

In today’s post, we tell you what they are, and we invite you to read on.

Semi-automated technology and FIFA innovation

What is semi-automated technology?

Semi-automated technology is a tool that will enable video referee teams and on-field referees to make faster, more reliable and accurate decisions.

How does semi-automated technology work?

According to official FIFA information, it involves twelve cameras installed under the stadium roof that capture the ball’s movements and up to 29 data points of each player, 50 times per second.

This makes it possible to calculate their exact positions on the pitch. The 29 sets of data collected include the limbs and body parts that are taken into account to signal offside.

The official ball of Qatar 2022™, Al Rihla by adidas, will also include a decisive element for detecting questionable offside positions: an inertial measurement unit (IMU).

This sensor, located in the center of the ball, sends a data packet 500 times per second to the video room, enabling the exact moment at which the ball is struck to be detected with absolute precision.

By mixing limb-tracking data from the players and the ball, and using artificial intelligence, the new technology provides an automatic warning to the video room whenever an attacker who was in an illegal position at the time his teammate played the ball receives a ball.

To corroborate their proposal before reporting it to the main referee, the video refereeing team manually checks the exact moment of the shot provided by the data, as well as the offside line also created automatically and based on the positions of the player’s limbs calculated by the system.

As it takes only a few seconds, the process allows for faster and more accurate decisions to be made. Once the decision is confirmed by the head referee, the same positional data used to make the decision generates a 3D animation that perfectly details the position of the player’s body parts at the moment of contact with the ball.

This animation, which shows a foul position from the best angles, is broadcast on the video scoreboards and distributed to FIFA’s broadcast partners to inform all viewers as clearly and transparently as possible.


How is the semi-automated technology configured?


In order to configure this semi-automated technology, numerous tests have had to be run at matches at tournaments such as the 2021™ FIFA Arab Cup and the 2021™ FIFA Club World Cup.

During matches at these tournaments, the new systemized technology helped video referee teams make more accurate and reliable decisions in less time.

Technology with its innovative tools is part of the future of soccer.

In this episode of FIFA’s “Living Football,” you can learn more about what it is and how this technology is being used to reap its benefits.

If you want to be part of innovative companies in the sports sector that use technology to provide better fan experiences, please contact us, we will be happy to help you.