The 2024 European Championship could bring with it a technological revolution in football. The microchip in the official match ball is intended to help make faster and more accurate handball decisions. This was reported by the English daily newspaper The Times.
The chip can determine exactly when and where the ball touched a player’s body. This information is determined using innovative “limb tracking technology” that provides 3D representations of the player’s skeleton.
Despite this technical support, the final decision on the possibility of a handball remains with the referee. The chip cannot judge whether a player is intentionally increasing his body surface area or whether he is consciously playing the ball with his hand.
This new technology primarily serves as an aid to referees on the field. It complements existing systems such as Video Assistant Referee (VAR), which is used in offside decisions. There is said to be positive feedback from judges who already have a relationship with the technology.
Heated debates about handballs will likely still be part of the game. However, this innovation could help resolve some controversial situations more quickly.
In addition to handball technology, work is also being done to improve offside decisions. The system will be tested at the Club World Cup in December. This informs the linesman immediately if a player is more than 50cm offside.
These technological developments could help make football fairer and support referees in their difficult task.