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Premier League votes for major change to offside rules with 'new system' to be used

Premier League votes for major change to offside rules with 'new system' to be used

It is a major development.

The Premier League has decided to make major changes to the offside laws by adopting a new system ahead of next season.

At a Premier League Shareholders’ meeting on Thursday, clubs unanimously agreed to the introduction of Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT).

The new system will introduced for the first time in the Premier League next season, with its first use likely coming after one of the Autumn international breaks.

Since the introduction of video assistant referees (VAR) in the Premier League in 2019, there has been growing frustration with how the technology is used to judge offside decisions.

So far VARs have used still frames of video footage to draw lines and make offside calls, but the limited nature of the technology has compromised the accuracy of some decisions.

The most high profile incident of VAR failing to make a correct offside decision was when a Luis Diaz goal was incorrectly disallowed during Liverpool's defeat to Tottenham earlier this season.

The Premier League says SAOT will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking, and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters.

It is hoped that SAOT will save around 30 seconds per decision, and bring an end to frustrating incidences of assistant refereed keeping their flags down before flagging for offside once attacks have ended.

Instead, the SAOT will inform assistant referees of the decision through an earpiece, enabling them to flag immediately.

The Semi-Automated system will reduce the risk of human error in terms of drawing the offside lines and make decisions clearer to supporters in the stadium and watching on television.

The Premier League will use the same cameras and software that UEFA uses in the men’s Champions League.

The technology will be different to the system FIFA has used, where a chip inside the match ball provides data.

The English top flight is in talks with several companies about providing the technology the system uses.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Premier League, Football, VAR