This World Cup won’t just see the first ever female referees in the history of the tournament, but also robot linesmen.
For Fifa’s global showpiece, which kicks off in November, FIFA President Gianni Infantino is determined to use the “semi automated offside” system, which could include a robot linesman.
The technology, which employs ten cameras to track 29 body points of each player, was tested in four of Doha’s eight World Cup stadiums during the Club World Cup and the Arab Cup.
With all indicators pointing to the technology working and bringing considerably faster offside calls than the present VAR line-led method, world chiefs are expected to give a favourable update after the International FA Board’s law-making annual general meeting that happened this week.
The summit was held in Qatar after it was postponed from its original March date in Zurich due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
FIFA is expected to declare that there are no barriers to the complete implementation of the technology, an Al Jazeera report suggested, though the ultimate judgement is expected after a thorough examination of the trial data.
However, the use of the term “robot offside” frustrates FIFA’s referee chief, Pierluigi Collina, a former Italian whistler.
The automated infiltration technique involving the “line man” was officially employed for the first time this year during the Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, and this official experience verified that his decision-making speed much exceeds that of the video assistant referee.
“On the field of play, the referees and assistants are still in charge of making decisions,” Collina said in a Sun report.
“The technology only gives them valued support to make more accurate and quicker decisions, particularly when the offside decision is very tight and difficult.”
During several training camps, the FIFA Officials Committee trains World Cup referees how to make arbitration decisions on their own.
Qatar 2022 will already go down in history as the first men’s FIFA World Cup to have female referees.
Three of the 36 referees that have been chosen to oversee games at the event are female; Stephanie Frappart, 38, Yoshimi Yamashita, 36, and Salima Mukansanga, 33.
The tournament in Qatar will also be the first to be held during the winter season, as well as the first to be hosted in an Arab country.