This World Cup was marked by technological innovation and by some controversies involving Qatar, which is the host country.
Even before the ball rolled, there was already a strange atmosphere because of false accusations saying that Ecuador would have received a bribe from Qatar to let the hosts win the first match. Even more so because after three minutes of play, Enner Valencia opened the scoring, but the goal was disallowed, at that moment suspicions were inflated.
It turns out that soon after everything was clarified, due to the computer graphics we can see that there was a millimetric impediment in the bid, a bid that even with the help of 3D graphics needed some time to really verify the irregularity.
It was the first time that the semi-automatic offside entered the field, one of the technological innovations that took center stage in this World Cup. Many decisive bids that are practically impossible to be perceived by the naked eye were decided through technology.
We’re going to show you three moments in which, if it weren’t for technology, the course of the matches would have been different.
Technology Cup: Inertial measurement sensor
Portugal 2 x 0 Uruguay
In this World Cup match, we had one of those shots that made us wonder, did he want to cross or shoot for the goal? The fact is that everyone saw Cristiano Ronaldo try to deflect the ball kicked by Bruno Fernandes and running to celebrate right after.
It just wasn’t clear whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo would have touched the ball. With the help of the check, after a few moments, the screen at the Lusail stadium indicated that the scorer was Bruno Fernandes.
From the point of view of Iranian referee Alireza Faghani, it was possible to have doubts. Fernandes himself gave a statement after the match saying that he tried to cross and that he thought Cristiano Ronaldo touched the ball.
Technology, however, is relentless. The Cup ball, Al Rihla, has an inertial measurement sensor (IMU), which sends data to the VAR room 500 times a second and is able to detect any touch it receives. Even with the protest of the Portuguese federation and its biggest player in search of records, the science is indisputable.
Tech Cup: Semi-Auto Offside
Croatia 0-0 Belgium
Whenever we have moves involving offside, we will have discussion. The technology used by FIFA scans the athlete’s entire body and considers the shoulder as a reference for marking the offside.
During a ball launched in the area, the Croatian striker Andrej Kramaric, was offside because his shoulder was in millimeter advantage. If the offside had not been marked, the move would have resulted in a penalty for the Croatians.
The distance between the two is so small that, without VAR, it’s not hard to believe that most match officials would have considered the players to be on the same page.
To identify the moment of the pass, the same system is used that accused Cristiano Ronaldo of not touching the move analyzed earlier. The data is crossed with the position of the players on the field and, in case of illegality, an alert appears on the monitors of those responsible for analyzing each situation.
Technology Cup: Goal Line Technology
Japan 2 v 1 Spain
That was the most talked about shot of the World Cup, not just because the goal ranked Japan and eliminated Germany, but because unless you had a millimeter vision you would have missed the score.
The rule says that the ball needs to leave the outside part of the field line in one piece to have gone out, that is, if we imagine a wall at the limit of the field, no fragment of the ball can touch it to be considered that the ball has gone out.
The Japanese player caught a ball that had practically gone out of bounds, except for a small part that remained on the line, with that cut the ball ended up in the middle of the small area and then inside the goal.
The system works with high-speed cameras, strategically positioned to obtain the most revealing angle. Able to capture every slightest movement, they identified that, by less than a centimeter, the ball was still in play and that the goal was legal.