The first World Cup to take place in an Arab country and in the height of the football season (from November 20 to December 18) instead of summer as is customary, the Qatar 2022 World Cup is undoubtedly that of the novelties.
In addition to these organizational innovations, this 22nd edition of the World Cup will be marked by sports innovations which aim to support the changes that the world of football has experienced in recent years.
After Video Assisted Refereeing (VAR) in 2018 in Russia, the Qatari World Cup will also be marked by another major change in refereeing with the introduction of new technology aimed at detecting offside semi-automated way.
This “semi-automated offside technology” (SAOT), validated by FIFA, will come into effect at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after being tested at the Arab Cup of Nations at the end of 2021, as well as at the Club World Cup.
According to the World Football Body, this technology provides a support tool for video referees and on-field referees to help them make faster, more accurate and consistent decisions on offside situations.
During the 2022 World Cup, SAOT will use 12 cameras placed under the roof of the stadium to follow the ball as well as each player (up to 29 data points checked 50 times per second) which will be able to determine their exact position on the field and to detect offside situations.
By combining data from the ball (with a sensor that sends data to the viewing room) and players, and using artificial intelligence, this new tool automatically sends an offside alert to Video referees each time the ball is received by an attacker who is in an offside position at the time the ball was played by a teammate.
Before informing the referee on the field, the video referees validate the proposed decision by manually checking the timing of the pass which will have been determined automatically as well as the offside line which will also have been automatically generated.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino says FIFA continues to drive the use of technology in modern football with this semi-automated offside technology and further optimize video-assisted refereeing .
Another important novelty introduced during the Qatari World Cup: each selection is authorized to present a list of 26 players instead of 23 previously.
To do this, FIFA adopted amendments to the World Cup Regulations at the end of June, in order to allow 26 players to appear on the final list of each national team which will compete in the 2022 World Cup.
This measure was deemed “necessary” by the World Football Authority, in order to offer greater flexibility for the workforce, with a view to coping with the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and the period unusual event during which the World Cup will take place (in the height of the season in Europe, namely in November-December and not during the summer).
The pandemic is also behind another novelty at the 2022 World Cup, namely the increase from three to five changes per team and per match.
The International Football Association Board (Ifab), “definitively” validated the five changes in mid-June, which had been introduced instead of the usual three during “high-level” matches following the Covid-19 pandemic. .
This amendment to football’s “Law 3”, decided by Ifab in May 2020, was to run until the end of 2021 for club competitions and until July 31, 2022 for international matches, before being a first. once extended until the end of 2022.
In addition, the International Football Association Board, guarantor of football laws, has decided to extend the sixth substitution trials in the event of a concussion until August 2023, “in order to collect sufficient data to make a valid scientific decision”. .
In addition to being an edition marked by novelties, football fans all over the world hope that the 2022 World Cup will be under the sign of beautiful play, fair play and emotion.