Wenger reveals plans for automated offside decisions from 2022

Arsene Wenger has revealed that FIFA could roll out an automated offside system at the 2022 World Cup.

Wenger, who is now FIFA’s chief of global football development, says the fully-automated technology should be ready in time for the competition.

The system would aim to reduce the time taken to decide on tight decisions, by instantly notifying the assistant referee if a player is offside.

Wenger told FIFA’s Living Football television show: “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.

“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.”

A semi-automated system had already been tested at the 2019 Club World Cup.

Wenger did go on to say the final decision would always be left in the hands of officials, and that these new technology solutions are designed to give them the best possible chance to come to the correct decision.

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