• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Premier League adopts Semi-Automated Offside Technology for 2024/25 Season

Premier League

Premier League clubs have unanimously approved the adoption of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) for the upcoming 2024/25 season.

The implementation of the technology aims to introduce the system after one of the international breaks scheduled for September or October, as announced by the Premier League.

Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to introduce the technology next season at a meeting of top-flight teams on Thursday, and its implementation is expected to cut the average length of a VAR check for offside by 30 seconds.

The technology, first utilized by FIFA at the 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar, is expected to streamline the process of video assistant referee (VAR) checks for offside decisions, potentially reducing the duration by 31 seconds.

According to the Premier League statement, the cutting-edge SAOT will offer quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, utilizing optical player tracking technology. Additionally, it will enhance the viewing experience for both stadium spectators and television audiences through high-quality broadcast graphics.

Plans are underway to introduce SAOT for FA Cup matches hosted by Premier League clubs next season, as well as for the semi-finals and final at Wembley Stadium.

While SAOT will expedite the offside decision-making process, the subjective aspects of determining player interference and deliberate defensive touches will still rely on the on-field referee’s judgment.

The technology underwent successful trials at the 2021 Arab Cup and Club World Cup, where it notably reduced the time needed for offside VAR decisions from 70 to 25 seconds.

Offside calls via VAR have been a contentious issue in the Premier League, with several notable incidents sparking debates in recent seasons. Notably, a breakdown in communication led to VAR’s failure to rectify an incorrect offside decision during Liverpool’s match against Tottenham, resulting in the disallowed goal of Luis Diaz during a 2-1 defeat in September.