Is FIFA planning to replace linesmen with robots?
FIFA are probing the possibility of binning linesmen - and replacing them with robots.
Assistant referees could become a thing of the past as a specific department has now been created to explore just how influential technology could be on football.
If the findings from FIFA's VAR bigwigs prove that technology can be beneficial and perfectly accurate, the offside flag could become a thing of history.
An insider confirmed: “FIFA already have a department set up researching into these exact areas.
“Will they replace referee assistants completely with cameras and computers ruling offsides and throw-ins? It could happen one day.”
While it may be a few years away from becoming reality, the thought of virtual robots running the line – instead of humans - is sure to further anger the anti-VAR brigade.
While robots operating down the side of the pitch may be a distant ambition for FIFA chiefs, the anti-VAR brigade will surely be angered by the development.
However, with FIFA President Gianni Infantino a huge advocate of VAR it seems there is no stopping the growing influence of technology within football.
Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Star Sunday, Premier League VAR chief Neil Swarbrick has denied our elite refs are no longer making the big calls during matches.
And the Stockley Park supremo also shrugged off concerns that VAR is killing the joy of fans celebrating a goal amid fears it could be disallowed upon review.
Ex-ref Swarbrick said: “It’s because people are not used to it yet. Sometimes it provides even more entertainment.”
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