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Premier League review ongoing for FIFA’s semi-automated offside technology — report

One step closer to robot referees!


The idea of automated offside has been around for some time — I remember advocating for that at least a decade ago already! — and we’ve now come to the point where the technology to enable it has not only matured but, more importantly, the landscape has shifted to allow for its gradual adoption. The idea of goal-line technology alone freaked people out ten years ago; we’ve come a long-long way together, through the VAR times and the good.

FIFA’s (semi-)automated offside (“limb-tracking technology”) earned some good reviews during the World Cup (and the Club World Cup as well earlier in 2022), providing much quicker turnaround times and ostensibly more accurate (if at times still far too marginal) decisions than the Premier League’s playtime with colored crayons of various thickness, so it’s great to hear that “a review is ongoing” at league level of the technology, presumably with a view towards adopting it in the near future.

Sky Sports’ report adds that the Premier League will not be adopting FIFA’s mondo-sized added-on times — time to institute a stopped clock and two 30-minute halves instead, friends! — but hopefully the offside technology will be implemented soon. And then hopefully it will keep improving to the point where we will not need any human intervention (just as with goal-line tech). There should be no reason to not track the ball and all players at all times and determine offside to the level of precision we want to use (“tie” should still go to the attacker, I say).

Let the (human) referees make all the subjective calls; let the robots make the binary calls.

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