Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

15.47 8 Apr 2021


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Offside decisions look set to be taken out of the referees' hands at the 2022 World Cup, according to Arsene Wenger.

The former Arsenal manager is now working as chief of global football development for FIFA and he is pushing for a fully automated system that will alert the assistant referee when a player is offside.

The aim of the new system is to provide a more accurate decision as well as reducing the amount of time that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) spends in assessing each decision.

"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," Wenger said on FIFA's Living Football show.

A VAR (Video assistant referee) monitor pitch side before the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

"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."

The body that oversees the laws of the game, the International Football Association Board is continuing to review the offside law, which has become a controversial issue since the introduction of VAR, and will be testing a semi-automated system that notifies the VAR.

FIFA tested the semi-automated system at the 2019 Club World Cup.

Wenger added: "I’m pushing very hard to have the automated offsides, which means straight away the signal goes to the linesman and I think it will be ready for 2022.

"We see many celebrations are cancelled after that for marginal situations and that’s why I believe it is a very important step."

2022 World Cup | Sportswashing and the World Cup in Qatar


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