Will VAR be used at the 2022 World Cup? What is it, who calls for VAR in football?

Semi-automated offside technology will be used during the 2022 World Cup

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Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has become an established part of elite football in most of Europe’s top countries.

VAR was first introduced on the big stage during the 2018 World Cup in Russia and was generally praised for its performance during the competition.

However, since its arrival in the Premier League at the start of the 2019/2020 season, VAR has divided opinion. Some believe that the technology slows down the flow of the game whereas others believe it has improved the integrity of top flight football.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off in November 2022, but can we expect to see VAR during the upcoming tournament?

Here is everything you need to know.

VAR was first used during the World Cup in 2018 (Getty ImagesVAR was first used during the World Cup in 2018 (Getty Images
VAR was first used during the World Cup in 2018 (Getty Images

Will VAR be used at the World Cup?

Following the successful use of VAR during the 2018 World Cup, FIFA declared in their 2020-23 vision that they would aim to further develop the potential of the technology and work to further enhance VAR.

As a result of this FIFA will continue to use VAR and will also use semi-automated offside technology during the upcoming tournament in Qatar.

What is semi-automated offside technology?

Semi-automated offside technology is designed to offer further guidance to referees and linesmen to help them make faster and more accurate offside decisions on football’s biggest stage.

The new technology will use 12 dedicated tracking cameras which are mounted at different points underneath the stadium. Semi-automated offside technology will be able to track the ball and up to 29 data points for each player on the pitch to calculate their exact position on the pitch.

The official match ball for the Qatar World Cup will be called Al Rihla, which will also provide a further crucial element to help detect offside incidents. Each match ball will have a sensor positioned in the centre of the ball, which will send ball data to the video operating room at an incredible speed of 500 times per second.

This process will speed up the decision making process meaning offside decisions can be made efficiently and accurately. FIFA have successfully trialled this technology during the FIFA Arab Cup in 2021 and during the FIFA Club World Cup 2021.

What have FIFA said about semi-automated offside technology?

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has praised the success of VAR since it was introduced and has released the following statement ahead of the World Cup.

“At the FIFA World Cup in 2018, FIFA took the brave step to use VAR technology on the world’s biggest stage, and it has proven to be an undisputed success. Semi-automated offside technology is an evolution of the VAR systems that have been implemented across the world. This technology is the culmination of three years of dedicated research and testing to provide the very best for the teams, players and fans who will be heading to Qatar later this year, and FIFA is proud of this work.”