Club World Cup set to feature robot referee

Chelsea will have artificial intelligence assisting the officials at their FIFA Club World Cup semi-final clash.

FIFA are looking to test artificial intelligence software that looks to improve VAR calls

Chelsea will be the first English team to experience 'robot referees'. FIFA revealed that it will use its new technology in the upcoming Club World Cup finals after successfully using it during the Arab Cup.

According to si.com, it is believed that the new technology will be used to make offside decisions within half a second.

Special cameras will be used to create a 'limb-tracking system', creating animated skeletons that will help speed up the decision-making process in regards to offside calls.

The VAR referees in place will then be alerted of the decision made by the technology, with the on-pitch referee then being informed.

If the deployment is a success, we might be seeing more 'robot referees' in the future with FIFA looking to optimize decision making on the field.

“We strongly believe that access to this new data source can positively impact the game by optimising decision-making processes and increasing objectivity,” Johannes Holzmüller, FIFA’s Director of Football Technology & Innovation, said.

Holzmuller however revealed that there remains a lot of testing to be done before our sci-fi referees can become a mainstay.

"We are only at the beginning of this development journey and possible use cases need to be tested thoroughly to assess the capabilities with a view to eventual implementation,” Holzmuller said.

Chelsea qualify for the competition by virtue of their 1-0 win over Manchester City in Porto in the UEFA Champions League

Tuchel's men will face one of Al Hilal, Al Jazira or Pirae in a semi-final on February 9 in the Middle East.

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