Semi-automatic offside, substitutions, equality: the rules to know before the kick-off of the World Cup

2022 World CupIncreasing use of technology, late registration of a player in the event of an injury, reset of yellow card counters, teams tied on points: here are the rules to know before the kick-off of the 2022 World Cup, which will be given this Sunday at 5 p.m. (Belgian time) with the duel between Qatar, host country, and Ecuador.

Semi-automatic offside

After introducing video assistance to arbitration (VAR) at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Fifa validated on July 1 the use during the Qatari tournament (November 20-December 18) of “semi- automated offside” (SAOT), a tool designed to speed up and make refereeing decisions more reliable.

This additional step, tested during the Arab Cup at the end of 2021 then during the Club World Cup and in the Champions League since the start of the season, makes it possible to establish the position of the players and the ball at any time, making it easier to detect outsiders. -game without however replacing the judgment of the referees.

In Qatar, this system will use twelve cameras placed under the roof of the stadiums, and will monitor “up to 29 data points” per player “50 times per second”, while a sensor placed in the center of the ball will send data “500 times per second”, determining when it is played far more precisely than the human eye could.

With the help of artificial intelligence, specifies Fifa, an alert will be transmitted to the video referees “each time the ball is received by an attacker who was in an offside position” at the time of the pass, and they can inform the main referee, who will make the final decision.

Impossible, however, to hope to fully automate the detection of offsides and eliminate controversies: once the position of the players has been taken into account, it remains to be assessed whether an opponent was able to intentionally put the ball back into play, as had illustrated validation of Kyli’s controversial goal

Injured player: medical joker available up to 24 hours before starting

The unusual programming of the tournament, in the middle of the European club season and after two years of pandemic punctuated by announcements of contamination, makes the question even more burning than during the last Worlds: what happens if a selected player is injured? or fall ill before the competition?

The official list of each selection – between 23 and 26 players was to be given to Fifa last Monday, but according to the rules of the instance, a player from the final list can still be replaced “at the latest 24 hours before the kick off. to kick off his team’s first match”. The body’s medical committee must nevertheless confirm “that the injury or illness is serious enough to prevent the player” from participating in the tournament.

Changes and concussion protocol

Introduced due to Covid-19, the change from three to five changes per team and per match ended up being imposed in each competition, before being definitively ratified in June by the International Board (Ifab), guardian of the laws. soccer. A sixth substitution is also authorized in the event of extra time.

In addition, Ifab has decided to extend the trials on an additional change in the event of a concussion until August 2023, leaving Fifa to maintain its traditional protocol in the face of a head shock. In Qatar, as in 2018 in Russia, the referee will be able to interrupt the match “up to three minutes” in the event of a suspicion of concussion and will only allow the affected player to continue the match with “the authorization of the doctor of the team”, and after evaluation.

In case of a tie

This is the conundrum of the group stage: if two teams have the same number of points, how do you know which advances to the round of 16? In order of importance, one must then look at: best overall goal difference; the number of goals scored. Then in a second step, the particular difference in points, the difference in goals then the greatest number of goals scored by one against the other team, finally a ranking of fair play calculated in particular on the basis of yellow cards and reds received during the group stage. If there is still a tie: draw.

From the round of 16, the knockout phase begins: the teams tied after 90 minutes play an extension of two times fifteen minutes, then possibly a penalty shootout.

Yellow cards and suspensions

If a player or official receives two cautions in two different matches, he is automatically suspended for the following match. But the counters are reset after the quarter-finals, like four years ago.

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