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Upgraded VAR for offside at World Cup 2022 after trials in UAE and Qatar

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The Aspire Dome Stadium in Doha, Qatar

Qatar 2022 will be the first FIFA men’s World Cup to use semi-automated offside technology as part of a wider innovation plan at the tournament.

FIFA says the new system will offer “a support tool for the video match officials and the on-field officials to help them make faster, more accurate and more reproducible offside decisions on the biggest stage of all”.

The tech was tested at the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup and 2021 FIFA Club World Cup ahead of being rolled out later this year.

Off-pitch officials will receive potential onside/offside alerts, with decisions evaluated away from the action before being communicated to the on-pitch referee to make a final decision.

Fans will also be shown how and why decisions are made via 3D animations on screen inside the stadiums with television viewers provided with an explanation.

The technology is more complex than current VAR and provides more ‘eyes’ on the action to give referees greater help.

Twelve dedicated tracking cameras — mounted in the stadium roof — will track the ball in play, and up to 29 data points will be placed on each player, 50 times per second, calculating their exact position on the pitch.

Those data points will map each relevant point on a player’s body, which can be considered active, to create a full picture of an offside call.

Alongside this, extra cameras will pinpoint player positions, and moving images of their bodies, while the new World Cup match ball will also play a role.

Each Al Rihla Official World Cup match ball will have a sensor placed inside it to send data to the video operation room 500 times per second to accurately assess the point the ball is struck.

Information on the selected kick point from the in-ball sensor, together with data points from cameras, provides an instant picture of the offside scenario to the officials in the video team and allows for a faster decision to be made.

Watch the explainer video:

Fifa-VAR-offside

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Weather warning subsides as Dubai airports returns to normalcy

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The low-pressure system that brought the rain and sandstorm to the UAE has weakened significantly and moved south, the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) said.

NCM shared the latest findings during the daily coordination meetings being held between all the authorities concerned with dealing in mitigating the effects of weather conditions.

The meetings are attended by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), Ministry of Interior (MoI), Ministry of Defence, Police Directorates across all Emirates, NCM, and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI).

There will still be a chance of light to moderate rainfall on Monday, with the chance of heavier rain across the Eastern and Northern parts of the country, in addition to the city of Al Ain and Al Dhafra region, with the continuation of moderate southeast dusty winds.

The authorities confirmed their full preparedness for all possible scenarios and changes during the meeting, confirming the readiness of all plans and teams.

Concerned authorities have also confirmed that new announcements of all developments related to the weather situation will be shared through all official platforms, calling on the public to obtain information from the official platforms and to deter from spreading rumours.

Meanwhile, Dubai Airports have confirmed that operations at the Dubai International Airport are currently recovering to normal following the weather delays over the past two days.

“Between Sunday afternoon and the early hours of Monday, a total of 44 flights were cancelled while 12 flights that were diverted to Dubai World Central (DWC) and other neighbouring airports have since returned back to DXB or their respective base,” said a Dubai Airports spokesperson.

“There have been no weather-related flight cancellations or diversions since. We are working closely with airlines and other service partners to restore normal operations at the earliest and to ensure that inconvenience to our customers is minimised.”

Emirates Airline and Flydubai have advised customers to check their websites for the latest flight updates before heading to the airport.

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Author Salman Rushdie attacked in US after threats for 34 years

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Salman Rushdie was stabbed multiple times in the neck. The attacker has been nabbed.

Author Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck at an event in a remote New York district, US, on Friday. The attacker has been detained.

The 75-year-old author’s writings have in the past led to threats. Even as he was airlifted to the hospital, social media was abuzz with sympathisers and hatred both expressing their thoughts.

Governor Kathy Hochul said he’s alive and “getting the care he needs”. The attacker is in custody and his identity will be released later, she said.

Social media posts showed people rushing to Mr Rushdie’s aid after a man with “black clothes and a black mask” jumped onto the stage and attacked him at Chautauqua Institution, about 100 km from the city. The moderator of the talk suffered minor head injuries in the attack. Mr Rushdie fell to the floor immediately after the attack, and the attacker was restrained. The attack lasted 20 seconds.

Moderator Henry Reese and Mr Rushdie were to discuss “the US as asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression”. The attack happened around 11 am local time (8.30 pm IST) as Mr Rushdie was being introduced. There were around 2,500 people in the audience.

The Chautauqua Institution, where the attack took place, is located in a rural part of New York. It is known for its summertime lecture series. Mr Rushdie has spoken there before.

A British citizen of Indian origin — living in the US for the past 20 years — Mr Rushdie, 75, has faced threats for decades over his 1988 book, The Satanic Verses, which is allegedly blasphemous towards Islam. A reward was put on his head by the Iranian top leader, though by 1998 the Iranian government said it won’t enforce that ‘fatwa’ or edict. It wasn’t clear if the attack is linked to that, although Twitterati haters started rejoicing (sic) with references to the past.

After the controversy over The Satanic Verses, Mr Rushdie remained out of the public eye, mostly living under government protection in the UK. But he produced several novels throughout the 1990s, and continues to criticise religious fundamentalism.

His first novel came out in 1975, but one of his seminal works is about modern India, Midnight’s Children (1981), for which he won the Booker Prize.

In 2012, after an Iranian religious outfit “renewed” the bounty on him, he dismissed that threat, saying there was “no evidence” of people being interested in the reward, said the AP report. He even published a memoir, Joseph Anton, about life after the fatwa. The title came from a pseudonym he had used while in hiding.

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Expect inclement weather in Abu Dhabi next week

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Abu Dhabi is expected to experience fluctuating weather from Sunday to Thursday as cumulus clouds form with mild to heavy rains and a significant drop in temperatures.

Therefore, the public is advised to drive with caution and adhere to safety guidelines and speed limits.

When it rains, remain vigilant and stay away from rain streams, valleys and rain water pools.

Avoid going to the beach and keep following weather forecasts via official channels only.

 

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