Robot Referee to be tested in FIFA Club World Cup game of Chelsea

Chelsea to become the first Premier League club to trial robot referee at FIFA Club World Cup match. 

FIFA is also hoping to bring this technology to FIFA World Cup 2022. This will help make automatic decisions within half a second and help VAR end their long delays during the games. 

The robot referee will be first tested in Abu Dhabi in Chelsea’s FIFA Club World Cup game and making the Blues first British club to sample the technology. 

The stadium will be set up with 12 cameras on the stadium’s roof to record players’ movements in the game to carry out this test. 

This will help the robot referee catch the players if he is in an offside position within a second by creating an animated skeleton of the players through 29 data points. 

This will help access the robot 50 times before making a correct decision during the match. 

Johannes Holzmuller, FIFA’s football technology and innovation director has explained. “When the ball is played, the real-time AI software can send a signal automatically to the VAR."

“We will have a committed assistant VAR who can process the offside data and help determine if the player deemed to be offside was active and interfering with play, so they can swiftly validate and confirm the decision.”

“We strongly believe that access to this new data source can positively impact the game by optimising decision-making processes and increasing objectivity.”

“However, we are only at the beginning of this development journey, and possible use cases need to be tested thoroughly to assess the capabilities with a view to eventual implementation.”

Chelsea has won their semi-final match against Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal Riyadh and will be playing the final on 12th February against Brazilian side Palmeiras. 

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