Virtual Football System Earns Official FIFA Certification

ChyronHego today announced that its Virtual Football System has been certified as a virtual offside line technology by FIFA, the world governing body for football. A powerful yet easy-to-use system for inserting virtual graphics onto the field, Virtual Football addresses the stringent performance requirements essential to the accurate placement of offside lines as part of the video assistant referee (VAR) workflow in football matches. Referees can rely on the technology to accurately place an offside line and help them make decisions more easily.

Broadcasters and stadium entertainment teams can use it to give fans a better understanding of how and why officials make crucial decisions throughout the game.

“ChyronHego has been at the forefront of this technology for over a decade and has made several exciting enhancements to Virtual Football specifically for offside line placement within the VAR workflow,” said Niall Hendry, Product Manager, Sports, at ChyronHego. “We have optimised calibration speed and workflow, as well as field and lens parameters, and we’ve also enabled selection from multiple angles to improve accuracy and streamline the user workflow.”

Virtual Football features an array of tools that enable users to enhance live football production with graphical elements including offside lines. Built on advanced image processing, Virtual Football allows users to insert virtual graphics without the need for camera sensors or special camera heads. The system’s built-in keyer overcomes harsh environmental effects, such as shadows and bright sunlight.

FIFA included ChyronHego’s Virtual Football System in a testing program designed to certify technologies on the market for displaying virtual offside lines for VAR usage. Following a number of testing events, where the rendered offside lines were measured for their accuracy in a variety of scenarios by an appointed testing institute, FIFA certified that Virtual Football was able to pass the performance criteria required for Virtual Offside Line (VOL) technology.

“It is critical that technologies used in professional football are of the highest quality and accuracy, and FIFA certification shows that Virtual Football has met this high standard,” added Ian Wray, sports director for EMEA and APAC at ChyronHego. “In a game where the smallest margin of error can have a far-reaching impact for teams, you need the best of the best to assist referees in making more accurate and quicker turnaround decisions. This level of performance is important to FIFA’s member organisations, which need to be able to trust the technology they use. We’re proud that FIFA has determined that the world of football can put its trust in Virtual Football.”