DOHA: Qatar host the FIFA Arab Cup starting today; an event seen as a precursor for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup. The tournament, which runs through December 18, gathers 16 national teams representing Arab countries and is held under FIFA’s banner. Six stadiums will be used as venues for upcoming matches of the event.
Head of the national and regional public relations at Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Yousuf Al-Hammadi affirmed that Qatar had prepared diligently for the upcoming tournament, laying detailed plans to receive fans at Hamad international airport, provide accommodation, as well as transport said fans to and from as well as between stadiums. Those attending the tournament will be the first to benefit from the transportation infrastructure laid for the upcoming international championships including the World Cup, he affirmed.
Regarding safety precautions, Hammadi said that all measures were in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), adding that rapid coronavirus tests would be provided for fans under 12 before entering matches. Each stadium hosting the tournament gathers around 40,000 to 60,000 spectators, indicated the officials, saying that the facilities were built using topnotch architectural designed and materials. The opening match of the tournament will pit Qatar against Bahrain on November 30 in the first group followed by Iraq versus Oman.
FIFA also plans to use the tournament to try out a semi-automatic detection of offside in football using specialized cameras and a dedicated offside video assistant. If the results are positive, the system may then be used at the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar. A camera system would be set up on the roof of each stadium and information relayed to a video assistant who can then alert the referee.
“Limb tracking data extracted from the video will be sent to the operations rooms and the calculated offside line and detected kick-point is provided,” Johannes Holzmueller, FIFA director of football technology and innovation, said yesterday. “The replay operator then has the opportunity to show it immediately to the VAR,” added Holzmueller. “At the FIFA Arab Cup the assistant VAR at a dedicated offside station can immediately validate and confirm the information.” – Agencies