Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who now works as head of football development for FIFA, is confident that semi-robotic assistant referees are on the horizon, report The Sun.
It seems as though, since Wenger took this job, that he’s proposed game-changing reforms for football on a weekly basis.
Football fans do not like change, especially when it comes to tinkering with the foundational makeup of the game, so Wenger’s suggestions would usually be met with some resistance.
However, it’s difficult to argue with the latest reform that he has proposed, as reported, by The Sun – robot linesmen.
Well, not quite, but a technological integration which would pair human linesmen with increased technology, which ought to speed up the decision making process when it comes to offsides.
As reported by The Sun, Wenger told the ‘FIFA Living Football‘ podcast: “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.”
“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.”
Offsides have become farcical since the introduction of VAR, with strikers being denied of what look like perfectly good goals to the naked eye after being offside by a millimetre of their shirt sleeve.
It’s not entirely clear if this particular reform would solve that problem, but if it speeds up the determination process and gets the game moving quicker, then it’s difficult to see a negative.