Euro 2024 ball features a chip to help VAR make offside decisions after the Adidas ‘Connected Technology’ denied Cristiano Ronaldo a goal at last year’s World Cup
- UEFA and Adidas unveiled the FUSSBALLLIEBE matchball for Euro 2024 in Berlin
- A chip embedded in the ball works with stadium cameras to make offside calls
- It’s a three-team title race… Toney could lead Arsenal to glory: It’s All Kicking Off
The ball to be used at Euro 2024 features a chip designed to improve the accuracy of semi-automated offside VAR decisions.
UEFA and Adidas unveiled the FUSSBALLLIEBE – ‘football love’ in English – matchball in Berlin on Wednesday.
It features the same technology seen in the Adidas Al Rihla ball used at last year’s World Cup in Qatar. A sensor in the centre of the ball is capable of recording data 500 times a second to detect when the ball has been kicked.
It works in conjunction with a series of cameras around the stadium tracking all 22 players to provide a 3D graphic of offside calls.
The technology in the Adidas ball also proved conclusively that Cristiano Ronaldo did not get a touch on a delivery by Bruno Fernandes that went in during Portugal’s 2-0 World Cup win over Uruguay.
Adidas and UEFA have unveiled the matchball for next summer’s European Championship
The FUSSBALLLIEBE matchball contains a chip which will aid VAR offside decisions
The ball is seen alongside the European Championship trophy at Berlin’s Olympiastadion
The automated offside technology was in operation during last year’s World Cup in Qatar
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Ronaldo sparked a debate by claiming the goal for himself but FIFA awarded the goal to Fernandes after analysing ‘Connected Ball Technology’ data.
Balls used in the Champions League do not feature the internal chip, meaning the semi-automatic offside system relies on Artificial Intelligence to determine precisely when the ball was kicked.
It is said the time needed to make a VAR offside decision will be reduced from an average of 70 seconds to just 25 because there is no need to manually draw offside lines.
Supporters both inside the stadiums and watching on television at home will be shown the offside graphic.
The Premier League clubs are expected to hold a vote in March after trialling the automated offside technology – having rejected a proposal to bring it in at the start of the season.
It is already used in Italy’s Serie A but with a Puma matchball that doesn’t contain the chip.
Adidas claimed the ball’s design ‘represents the movement of the ball and the energy of the game through prominent black wing shapes accentuated with colourful edges, curves and dots.
‘The use of bold red, blue, green and orange celebrates both the vibrance that the competing nations bring to the tournament and the pure simplicity of football that attracts so much love from fans around the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo was denied a goal when playing for Portugal against Uruguay at the World Cup because the chip can detect contact with the ball
Bruno Fernandes curled in a cross that found its way into the Uruguay goal in Qatar
The Connected Technology inside the ball found there was no touch by Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo wheeled away in celebration with his arm raised, celebrating scoring the opener
There is a sensor inside the match ball that was rigorously tested before the World Cup
They added that: ‘Illustrations of each of the tournament’s stadiums appear on the ball alongside the name of each host city.’
Meanwhile, tournament organisers are concerned computer bots have swept up millions of tickets in the first ballot.
More than 20 million ticket requests for the tournament in Germany were made but many have complained they’ve missed out despite large applications.
According to German outlet Sport Buzzer, UEFA competition director Martin Kallen admitted that bots could be the reason for difficulty in obtaining tickets, claiming they were trying to ‘eliminate’ the problem.
Kallen said: ‘We have a problem that computer bots are working for the black market today, there are x millions coming in that we are trying to eliminate.’
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