Express & Star

Premier League clubs backing new technology for offside calls

The Premier League will use semi-automated offside technology before the end of the year.


Clubs unanimously agreed to introduce the technology next season at a meeting of top-flight teams on Thursday, which sources say is expected to cut the average length of a VAR check for offside by 31 seconds.

The Premier League said the intention was to introduce the technology after one of the autumn international breaks – so as early as September or as late as November.

“The technology 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,” a league statement said.

Football’s global governing body FIFA first used semi-automated offside technology at the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar.

It is understood the intention is also to use the technology for FA Cup ties next season which are hosted by Premier League clubs, and for the semi-finals and final at Wembley. Referees body Professional Game Match Officials Limited is understood to be fully supportive.

Its chief refereeing officer, Howard Webb, is understood to have made a presentation at Thursday’s clubs meeting.