Meet the new VAR, who ‘stopped’ Argentina’s attack in the first half


The Argentine national team had an overwhelming first half in their World Cup debut against Saudi Arabia: they scored 4 goals, but only one counted. A new VAR technology is capable of drawing offsides almost automatically, disallowing the brothers’ goals with millimeter precision.

It’s semi-automatic offside, consisting of 12 cameras mounted high up in the stadium to track the ball and up to 29 data points on each player, 50 times per second.

Thus, the exact position of the athlete on the field is calculated. The ball also has a sensor that lets you know exactly when it was touched.

When the data indicates the possibility of offside, the referees in the booth come into action to check the positioning in a 3D animation generated by artificial intelligence.

The robot’s main intervention took place in the 27th minute of the first half, when striker Lautaro Martínez received a pass from Papu Gómez and covered up Al-Owais, the Arabian goalkeeper. On TV and through the eyes of the Bandeira, Lautaro’s goal seemed normal, but technology caught the Argentine striker with part of his shoulder in front.

Another two goals were disallowed on the pitch by the assistant: one by Messi and the other by Lautaro. Artificial intelligence confirmed the infraction.

Since its emergence, VAR has been criticized for the delay in analyzing controversial bids. In the case of offsides, time used to be spent drawing the offside line, saved with artificial intelligence in this new technology.

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