The offside under examination: was the one from the Clásico well drawn? Will the semi-auto arrive?

The hangover from the Clásico has focused part of the attention on one of the VAR applications: offside. Ancelotti questioned that Asensio was ahead in the disallowed goal, Madrid doubts the frame chosen to draw the lines and The noise returns about the implementation of the semi-automatic offside, whose decision must be made by LaLiga. This has generated several doubts in the fans: Was the Clásico offside well drawn? Would the semi-automatic be the solution? In whose hands is the decision to implement this new technology?

First you have to solve the Clásico equation. Madrid is upset with Asensio’s disallowed goal, which would have served as a minimum for the tie. They affirm that the VAR should have used a previous image to draw the lines, since they consider that it is the exact moment in which the pass is made and in which there was no offside. But as AS has learned, the point of impact selected by Soto Grado (Barça-Real Madrid VAR referee) and the lines drawn were correct. There was no error. For this type of tight plays, the braids that are in the VOR have the guideline to search with a short camera for the first point of impact with the ball and, later, to trace the lines of the defender and the attacker with the greatest accuracy possible help from other more appropriate angles. What’s more, in the checks carried out by the referees, if they choose a previous frame, as Real Madrid claims, the offside would continue to exist but by more difference. The Barcelona player was even further behind. What supposes a resounding success in the work of Soto Grado in said controversial action.

But there are still atheists of the offside system. They believe that the margin of human error is very large and request the semi-automatic, a technology already used in top-level competitions. This is the case of the Qatar World Cup, the Club World Cup, the Champions League, Serie A, the Spanish Super Cup… What’s more, the Federation has announced that it will also be used in the final of the Copa del Rey this season. This system is more accurate for a reason. It is the tool itself that draws the lines of the position of all the players thanks to a system of 12 cameras that scan up to 29 points of each player to determine if the attacker is in an advanced position compared to the last defender. Now, why is it semi-automatic? Because it is the VAR referee who decides which image to use to draw said offside lines. They have to decide which is the exact frame in which the first contact with the ball occurs so that the machine can do its job and determine if it is offside or not. In other words, Asensio’s goal would surely have continued to be illegal with the semi-automatic since it is the referee who chooses said frame, where there are discrepancies between the CTA and Real Madrid.

Even so, semi-automatic technology significantly reduces human error. It’s more, The referees would welcome this new technology in Spain with open arms. It would make their job easier with a tool that takes less time to draw lines with. But the decision is neither made by the braids nor by the Federation, which has already requested it in private and also in public. The ball is on the roof of LaLiga and the clubs, who are the ones who must pay for this tool. In the first contacts between the Federation and the League, both institutions have shown themselves to be predisposed. What’s more, Luis Gil, director of competitions for the employer, traveled to Qatar to see first-hand how it works. The drawback is the price to pay, since it would make what is disbursed annually for the VAR more expensive. It is the clubs themselves that must decide if the current system is enough or if a step towards semi-automatic is needed. Although it would seem strange that they told LaLiga no when there are several clubs that have complained in recent months about the offsides drawn by the VAR. Sooner or later it will be officially announced that this new tool will be in LaLiga next season.

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