Revolutionizing Football: Microchip Technology Takes Center Stage at Euro 2024

Get a closer look at Euro 2024's official ball with embedded microchip technology, providing real-time insights and solving handball controversies on the field.

In a groundbreaking move, the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament is set to witness a significant technological advancement in football – integrating microchip technology inside the official match ball, ‘Fussballliebe.’ Manufactured by Adidas, this innovation aims to enhance the accuracy of handball decisions during crucial moments in the game.

Unprecedented Insight with Microchip Technology

Adidas has embedded a microchip within the Fussballliebe, working with limb-tracking technology. This combination enables the real-time creation of 3D visual representations of players’ skeletons, providing unprecedented insight into the ball’s movement. UEFA states this technology will contribute to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) decision-making process.

Real-Time Analysis of Ball Contact

The microchip calculates the point of contact between the ball and the players’ bodies. By creating 3D models of players’ skeletons, the VAR system can accurately establish whether a handball occurred by analyzing the data provided by the microchip. Additionally, the technology can determine when the ball was kicked, aiding in offside decisions.

Distinction from Semi-Automated Offside System

While FIFA utilized chip-in-the-ball technology for offside decisions in the previous World Cup, it has yet to be adopted in the Champions League. The Champions League currently employs a semi-automated offside system, utilizing cameras and artificial intelligence to create real-time 3D models of players’ positions. The decision to stick with the semi-automated system is attributed to cost considerations.

Addressing Handball Controversies

Microchip technology came when handball decisions in football were intensely debated. According to the laws set by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), a player is considered to have committed a handball if their hand/arm makes their body unnaturally bigger. However, there are gray areas, especially regarding accidental handballs, leading to controversial decisions.

The introduction of the microchip-enhanced Fussballliebe aims to bring more clarity to these situations by providing precise data for VAR teams to make faster and more accurate decisions. Technology will play a crucial role in addressing the ongoing discussions about what constitutes a handball in the game.

As Euro 2024 approaches, football fans worldwide eagerly anticipate witnessing how this cutting-edge technology will impact the game’s dynamics and potentially reshape the way handball decisions are made on the field.

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