Arsene Wenger is 'pushing very hard' for offside calls to be AUTOMATED at the 2022 World Cup


Arsene Wenger reveals he’s ‘pushing very hard’ for offside calls to be AUTOMATED at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar amid ongoing criticism of VAR

  • Arsene Wenger says offside calls could be automated at the 2022 World Cup
  • He says both semi-automated and automated systems are being prepared
  • Wenger says the automated function will go straight to the linesman’s watch
  • While the semi-automated version will go through VAR before the linesman
  • He says he is ‘pushing very hard’ for the technology to be introduced in Qatar 

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says offside calls could be automated at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar amid the ongoing criticism of VAR.

Wenger says there could be two forms of technology used. One would be fully automated – sending a signal straight to the linesman’s watch to indicate if the player is offside or not. While the second option would be a semi-automated function which will go through VAR first.  

The Frenchman – who holds a position at FIFA as the chief of global football development – says he is ‘pushing very hard’ to introduce the latest form of technology into the game. 

Arsene Wenger says that offside calls could be automated at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Arsene Wenger says that offside calls could be automated at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Speaking to FIFA’s Living Football Show, Wenger said: ‘The automated offside I think will be ready for 2022. Automated means it goes directly from the signal to the linesman and the linesman has on his watch a red light that tells him offside or not offside.

‘At the moment we have situations where the players are on lines to see if they are offside or not. On average, the time we have to wait is around 70 seconds, sometimes one minute 20 seconds, sometimes a little bit longer when the situation is very difficult to appreciate.

‘It is so important because we see many celebrations are cancelled after that for marginal situations and that’s why I believe it is a very important step.

He says both semi-automated and automated systems are being prepared for the tournament

He says both semi-automated and automated systems are being prepared for the tournament

The automated version sends a signal straight to the linesman's watch to indicate if the player is offside or not. While the semi-automated function which will go through VAR first

The automated version sends a signal straight to the linesman’s watch to indicate if the player is offside or not. While the semi-automated function which will go through VAR first

‘The semi-automated goes first to the VAR, who signals it to the linesman. I’m pushing very hard to have the automated offsides, which means straight away the signal goes to the linesman.’

The semi-automated system was used on a trial basis at the 2019 Club World Cup and received positive feedback. However, the fully automated function is yet to be used in a competitive fixture.  

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) will, however, have the final say over the introduction of the technology as they oversea the sport’s rule book. 

Despite campaigning for the new technology to be used, Wenger remains adamant that the final decision will rest with the referee. 

He said: ‘FIFA and IFAB have always maintained that the final decision will remain with the referee, with technology being introduced to provide the officials with the best support available.’ 

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