The Champions League will use a camera-based system to judge tight offside calls in the group stage starting next month, UEFA said Wednesday.
The Semi-Automated Offside Technology, which was also approved last month by FIFA for the World Cup in Qatar, uses multiple cameras to more accurately track players’ limbs and the point when a key pass is made.
The technology promises faster and more accurate offside decisions than are currently made with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.
UEFA said it will use the new system next Wednesday at the Super Cup game between European champion Real Madrid and Europa League winner Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki ahead of its Champions League debut on Sept. 6.
The system was tested at the women’s European Championship that finished Sunday in England and in the Champions League last season.
“UEFA is constantly looking for new technological solutions to improve the game and support the work of the referees,” its chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti said in a statement.
Controversial calls have often flared in European leagues where VAR officials draw on-screen lines over players for marginal calls. They have been mocked as “armpit offsides” because of the tiny margins.
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