Premier League semi-automated offsides in place of VAR

The Premier League is set to use semi-automates offsides from next season, according to a report.

The system has been trialed successfully in the Champions League so far this term, and officials are set to move forward with plans to put it into place in England’s top division.

According to The Times, the process, which will be voted on by Premier League teams after the World Cup, is seen as a big improvement on the current system due to its efficiency, with hold-ups predicted to last no longer than natural stoppages, with delays of just 0.5 seconds expected.

The system works by sending an automated alert to the VAR official when a player is offside, using tracking technology and artificial intelligence for instant decisions.

There will be a cost implication in implementing the software, but nine teams in the Premier League – the Champions League clubs plus Manchester United, Arsenal, Brighton, Southampton and Nottingham Forest – already have at least basic Hawkeye infrastructure in place which would allow for easier installment of the equipment required.

VAR officials will still have to verify alerts, but it is expected the lessen scenes of celebration before goals are ruled out, which has been a prominent complaint of the current software.

The system was first trialed last year in the background of Champions League matches, and its success meant UEFA brought it forward to be used officially this season.

It will also be used at the World Cup later this this year, and is expected to be introduced to other European leagues soon.

The system works by using 12 cameras around the stadium to track players and the ball during play, with artificial intelligence monitoring 12 points on the players’ bodies using a skeletal player tracking system.

Officials will receive notifications on a wristwatch, though those officiating the game and making VAR calls will still have the final say.

Chelsea suffered the wrath of the software in their Champions League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb last week, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a goal ruled out after Ben Chilwell was adjudged offside in the build-up.

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