UEFA has announced that the Euro 2024 official match ball is designed to enhance the efficiency of offside and handball decisions through advanced technology.
Named ‘Fussballliebe,’ the ball incorporates Adidas’ connected ball technology, enabling real-time data transmission to match officials.
UEFA asserts that the ball will provide “unprecedented insights into every aspect of the ball’s movement, contributing to the decision-making process of the video assistant referee (VAR).”
The technology can discern when a touch occurs, but not the specific body part involved. Subsequently, officials will rely on camera images, as is current practice, to determine handball incidents.
🚨 A microchip inside the ball that helps to determine whether there has been a handball in the lead-up to a goal and aids offside decisions will be used at Euro 2024.
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) December 5, 2023
UEFA anticipates that this innovation will expedite the decision-making process for handball and offside calls, ensuring greater accuracy.
By integrating player position data with artificial intelligence (AI), UEFA emphasizes that this advancement contributes to their semi-automated offside technology, playing a crucial role in facilitating quicker in-match decisions.
Moreover, UEFA highlights that this technology aids VAR officials in pinpointing every individual ball touch, thereby reducing the time spent resolving handball and penalty incidents.
Criticism of VAR, particularly in the Premier League, has been widespread across Europe, prompting many managers to voice concerns about the application of this technology.