July 6, 2013

Vanishing spray partly meets with refusal

No - New Zealand referee Peter O'Leary, whom you can see in the photo below, does not draw new lines on the football pitch. He is one of 69 match officials who are being equipped with a vanishing spray by FIFA at the ongoing Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Mind your feet! (c) RP Online

In an official press release, FIFA explained their decision to implement this equipment that is already deployed for years in South American football as follows:
"The spray is aimed at giving match officials the opportunity to mark a line on which the defending team must line up its defensive wall before a free kick is taken. Produced by the Argentinian company Fair Play 9.15 Limit, the spray marks a white line on the grass, which indicates clearly any attempted encroachment by players aimed at narrowing the angle or affecting the taking of the free-kick."
Furthermore, it was clarified that the spray vanished between 45 seconds and two minutes of being applied. It consists of a non-contaminating foam being procuded in an ecofriendly way.
The echo of the referees who are already using this spray is still to come. In the German Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga, 33 out of 45 have voted against the application of this technique though. A German Bundesliga referee, whose name is unknown, ironically stated: "That's just what we needed! In future we will carry a backpack and gauge the distance between the position of the ball and the wall of 9.15 with a yardstick." 
DFB Refereeing Officer Lutz-Michael Fröhlich admonished that they "must keep in mind that the officials are not fraught with technical aids". Additionally he said: "In the end they [technical aids] reduce the referees' concentration on the actual task of assessing match situations and handling matches with personality."

What's your view on this experiment?


  1. Personally, I don't really mind if they keep using the foam or if the choose to scrap it. In all the games that I've watched so far, I haven't seen a referee having any problems with it.
    Although I have noticed that some referees do use it somewhat sporadically.

  2. Let's keep in mind, that making this line with spray ref is not aware of what is happening on the pitch for about 4-5 seconds. At it is the time, when in the box are about 15-18 people striving to fight each other... More over, refs now are equipped with radiokit on the hand, micro and speaker on the ear, vibro from the flags on the other hand, Hawk-eye watches on the wrist... And additionally - spray on the belt??? Isn't it funny already?

  3. I am against it. I don't like how it looks, how it feels when you run with it and how the referee bends in front of a couple of players to draw the line. A referee must be good enough to hold the wall in a line without use of any external tools. Player management!
    Best regards,

  4. Turan,one of the best comments i‘ve seen on this site. Player Managment is crucial here.


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