IFAB: semi-automated offside detection under discussion on Monday

The International Board (IFAB), guarantor of football laws, meets this Monday in Doha (Qatar), where the 2022 World Cup will take place, for its 136th annual general meeting, during which it must in particular assess the effectiveness semi-automated offside detection, a more advanced technological monitoring system in support of video refereeing (VAR), which was already tested in February at the Club World Cup.

However, the IFAB will not decide on Monday whether semi-automated offside detection will be used at the next World Cup in Qatar (November 21-December 18). On the one hand, it is the organizer, FIFA, who chooses. On the other hand, video refereeing has already been used in the World Cup since 2018 and it would only be “an additional tool for VAR, not a new ruleFIFA told AFP. The semi-automatic offside system still needs to be assessed before a final decision is made. » In 2018, the IFAB gave its approval in principle for VAR, and it was only a few weeks later that FIFA decided to use it at the World Cup in Russia.

In addition, the Board should validate the sustainable principle of five changes per game. In October 2021, the guardian of the laws of the game had left the choice to each competition to adopt the five changes or not. This amendment to Law 3 of the game, usually providing for a maximum of three substitutions per match, was decided in May 2020 by the IFAB and was to run until the end of 2021 for club competitions and until July 31. 2022 for international meetings. The measure has been extended until December 31, 2022, after a “global analysis of the current impact of Covid-19 on football”. Not all competitions had opted for an increase in the number of substitutes, with the Premier League being the most notable defaulters.

The rule of the hands in the clarified surface?

The Board could also clarify the hands-in-box rule, which often leads to misunderstandings and questionable decisions. A discussion is also planned on the testing of changes in the event of concussions, with the establishment of two specific replacements. But the low number of incidences does not yet allow reliable conclusions to be drawn.

FIFA holds four out of eight votes in IFAB decisions, with the other four historically owned by the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish FAs.

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