MILAN (AFP) – Semi-automated offside technology is set to be introduced to Serie A before the coming World Cup, a source told AFP on Tuesday (Sept 14), after VAR controversy swept Italian football at the weekend.
The source said the technology, developed by global governing body Fifa, would be ready for use in the Italian league “within a few weeks” after testing at recent matches.
Juventus will host the new technology when they take on Benfica in the Champions League in Turin on Wednesday.
The optical tracking system was trialled at February’s Fifa Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi and last year’s Arab Cup.
It utilises both dedicated and broadcast cameras around the stadium to give the exact position of players on the pitch, offering match officials precise information within seconds.
Specialised cameras enable the system to generate 29 body points per player.
The technology, which has the aim of making offside calls faster and more accurate, was approved for used at the Qatar World Cup which starts in November and is being used in the group stage of this season’s Champions League.
Confirmation from the source comes after Juve were denied a stoppage-time win against Salernitana on Sunday with an offside decision that baffled supporters.
A VAR review led to Arkadiusz Milik’s header deep in stoppage time, which would have given Juve a 3-2 win, being ruled out for Leonardo Bonucci being offside and interfering with play.
Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri, winger Juan Cuadrado and Salernitana defender Federico Fazio were all sent off as tensions flared on the sidelines in the aftermath of that decision.
Footage revealed later showed that Salernitana’s Antonio Candreva had kept everyone onside but as he was stood by the corner flag he was not spotted by the VAR officials.
The decision caused outrage not just at Juve but among football fans and pundits all over Italy, incredulous as to how the decision could have been gotten wrong with so many cameras in place at the Allianz Stadium.
Italian referees’ association AIA released a statement on Monday saying the VAR officials did not have access to cameras which would have shown that Milik’s goal should have stood.
However, despite reports to the contrary the source told AFP the introduction of the technology “was not linked to what happened on Sunday”.
“We have already planned everything, the cameras have been in place (in stadiums) for a few weeks,” they added.
Allegri, who was handed a one-match ban by Serie A following his dismissal, said on Tuesday that “the matter is closed” for Juventus ahead of their clash with Benfica.