ARSENE WENGER is confident ‘robo-linesmen’ will be making offside calls at the 2022 World Cup.
But the Frenchman is also a huge fan of the Fifa plan for ‘semi-automated offside’ calls, with cameras instantly alerting the assistant referee to raise his flag.
Wenger told Fifa’s Living Football vodcast: “At the moment we have situations where the players’ positions have lines drawn to see if they are offside or not.
“The average time we have to wait for a decision is around 70 seconds, sometimes 1min 20secs, sometimes a little bit longer when the situation is very difficult to appreciate.
“But with this system, there is an automatic signal to the linesman, via a watch he wears with a red light to tell him if it is offside or not.
“The semi-automated goes first to the VAR who signals it to the linesman.”
Trials of the new system, based on skeletal technology, have already begun in China.
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.”
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Wenger believes the deployment of the technology will go hand in hand with his idea, backed by Fifa President Gianni Infantino, to change the offside Law.
Under the Wenger proposal, a striker will be onside if any goalscoring part of the body is level or behind the last defender.
Wenger used a video of Ellen White’s disallowed goal for England against USA in the 2019 Women’s World Cup semi-final as a prime example of the strike which would count under his concept.
He added: “We want to make the game more spectacular, quicker and more enjoyable to watch and play.
“We cannot refuse to evolve and standing still would be bad.
“VAR has changed football. The Laws say that the benefit of the doubt should go to the striker.
“Previously if the striker was a tiny fraction in front, the goal would be allowed.
“But with VAR the benefit of doubt disappeared because the precision of VAR always goes against the striker. We think it is anti-emotion.
“Our proposal is that as long as any part of your body is level with the defender you are not offside, so the attacker gains a whole stride, approximately.
“Of course we have to analyse the impact on the tactical behaviour of the defenders – whether they might drop deeper or be more aggressive.
“But we know on average there are four offsides in the Premier League per game. With this change, we would have only two.
“The game would create more dangerous situations and goalscoring situations.
“I’ve gone to consult with managers, defenders, midfielders and strikers from all over the world.
“The defenders were against it – what a surprise. And the strikers all for it.”
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