FIFA are exploring the possibility of replacing linesmen with robots as part of an investigation into the benefits of technology in football.
VAR has made its way to the Premier League this season and, whilst it has brought plenty of controversy over the manner of its use, it has proven to be an incredibly accurate way of catching players offside.
According to The Mirror, FIFA have now set up a specific department to try and review all the potential aspects of football which could be improved by technology, and there has been talk of replacing linesmen with robots.
Whilst there is no plans to do so just yet, things could change in the future if the results of this investigation show that robots could do the job of a linesman better than a human can.
An insider confirmed: “FIFA already have a department set up researching into these exact areas.
The problem we’ve got with VAR at present is that the video assisted referees clearly have an issue with overruling the on-field ref. They simply don’t want to do it, as if it will undermine the referee instead of helping them. The problem isn’t technical it’s human.— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) August 25, 2019
“Will they replace referee assistants completely with cameras and computers ruling offsides and throw-ins? It could happen one day.”
It is believed that the task force are analysing the impact of VAR worldwide, in an attempt to see whether it improves the game or not. In terms of offsides, the cameras have caught a number of infringements which would likely have gone unnoticed, so it is not foolish to suggest that FIFA may look to involve robots even more.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino is a huge fan of VAR, and it is thought that he would be open to using the system as much as possible.
There would likely be plenty of critics of the system, just as there is these days with any use of VAR, but that's the task force's job - to prove how technology can make things better.