FIFA asks tech firms for better visuals for tight VAR calls

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup 2022 South American Qualifiers - Brazil v Venezuela - Estadio Morumbi, Sao Paulo, Brazil - November 13, 2020 Referee Juan Gabriel Benitez refers to VAR Fernando Bizerra/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - FIFA has asked technology companies to develop ways to improve visuals to help its officials with close video assistant referee (VAR) decisions on offsides, the global soccer governing body said on Tuesday.

The current system, which involves the use of dotted lines to determine whether a player is offside, has come under fire following a string of controversial calls in Europe's top leagues.

In a bid to improve the system, FIFA said companies would be provided with "anonymised datasets" of offside decisions based on which they should present possible solutions.

FIFA also said that three technology providers have expressed an interest in developing semi-automated technology to improve the review process for offside incidents.

"The aim of this development phase is to further improve the algorithms of the systems based on a collection of datasets from hundreds of different offside incidents," the governing body said.

FIFA also said it discussed the development of the VAR "light" concept, which aims to create more affordable technology which can be implemented at all levels of the game.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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