ZURICH: FIFA and football’s law-making International Board are preparing to unveil proposals for a VAR-light system to extend the use of video assstance for referees.

A meeting of the Working Group for Innovation Excellence has identified variable cost factors, talked about the potential quality decrease and the minimum requirements for such a technology setup.

The Asian confederation, French association and Europe’s UEFA have all provided input from offline tests.

A FIFA statement said:

The agenda also covered the development of semi-automated offside technology to make the review process for offside incidents as efficient as possible.

After initial demonstrations of the capabilities of this new technology, three technology providers are interested in the next development phase, which had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but should take place as early as possible next year.

The aim of this development phase is to further improve the algorithms of the systems based on a collection of datasets from hundreds of different offside incidents.

In addition, the working group considered the improvement of the visualisation of close offside incidents. FIFA had issued a request for information to the market and shared the received proposals and ideas with the working group.

As a next step, interested technology providers will receive anonymised datasets, based on which they should present possible solutions to the working group.

The Working Group for Innovation Excellence embodies the commitment to stay ahead of the curve in a technology sector that is rapidly evolving and part of FIFA’s innovation road map to 2022.