VAR at the World Cup is always destined for controversy.


Even when it inevitably gets calls correct, the video assistant referee continues to be a fallible spectre looming over events on the pitches around Doha and beyond.

FIFA has moved to advance the technology with a semi-automated offside system deployed for the 2022 edition of the tournament.

So far, we've seen Argentina called offside more often in a single game than during their entire 2018 campaign – though many of those calls were a direct result of an inexplicably capable high-line deployed by Saudi Arabia.

Lautaro Martinez scored two offside goals in that game, though one appeared highly debatable after showing up on the semi-automated system – but how does it work? brings you all the details you need to know about semi-automated offside calls at the World Cup.

For more World Cup features check out: World Cup 2022 TV schedule | World Cup 2022 kits ranked | World Cup 2022 stadiums | Best players at the World Cup

What is semi-automated offside VAR at the World Cup?

Every match ball has been fitted with a microchip, while 29 body parts of every player are being tracked at any given moment.

Using a combination of both the trackers and chips, technology can determine the exact point of contact between foot and ball, allowing the VAR to determine the exact moment of the ball being played.

The semi-automated system fires an alert to the VAR and draws up the infamous lines instantly. All that's left to be done is for the VAR to confirm the accuracy of the technology, cast an eye over the decision and relay the final decision to the on-field referee.

Extra VAR officials have been drafted in to oversee the new technology's implementation, with decisions now taking an average of just 25 seconds, as opposed to several minutes, as seen in the Premier League.

It remains to be seen how well the system will go down with fans. On one hand, it should be more accurate than leaving it to officials to draw lines by hand over grainy footage.

However, if decisions are that close, many fans would probably rather they just play on. Time will tell.

Check out our World Cup hub for all the latest from Qatar 2022, including match previews, predictions and analysis.

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