With a view to aiding the officials at the 2022 World Cup, adidas have revealed that the Al Rihla, official match ball for the tournament, will feature Connected Ball Technology, providing the VAR team with precise ball data in real time to support fast and accurate offside calls.

The Al Rihla, official match ball of Qatar 2022, was unveiled back in March this year, but now adidas are peeling back the layers – quite literally – to reveal a new technology that lives inside the ball. Connected ball technology, as it is known, will be used to enhance the VAR system by providing an unprecedented level of data and information to match officials for making faster and more accurate decisions on the biggest stage of all.

Combined with player position data and by applying artificial intelligence, the innovative connected ball technology contributes to FIFA’s semi-automated offside technology and offers Video Assistant Referees instantaneous information to help optimise decision making.

A new adidas Suspension System in the centre of the ball hosts and stabilises a 500Hz inertial measurement unit (IMU) motion sensor, which provides unprecedented insight into every element of the movement of the ball, while making this technology unnoticeable for players and not affecting its performance whatsoever. The sensor is powered by a rechargeable battery, which can be charged by induction.

Johannes Holzmüller, Director Football Technology & Innovation at FIFA said: “This technology is the culmination of three years of dedicated research and testing by FIFA and our partner adidas to provide the best possible experience for the referees, teams, players and fans who will be heading to Qatar later this year. We look forward to seeing semi-automated offside technology including the connected ball technology in action at the FIFA World Cup 2022.

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Pick up the adidas Al Rihla 2022 World Cup match ball now at prodirectsoccer.com