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Vanishing Spray Paint is a Real Kick

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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Armed with an arsenal of aerosol, World Cup referees have a new trick up their sleeves to stave off a sneaky soccer move.

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) referees are using a vanishing spray paint at this year's World Cup in Brazil to mark temporary white lines that disappear after one minute.

The white line is meant to deter players from inching forward once the referee's back is turned, to encroach on the opposing team's allotted room to make a play.

915 Fairplay
Photos: Instagram / 915fairplay

World Cup referees are using a new vanishing spray paint to stop players from inching forward on the opposing team.

The spray paint, called 915 Fairplay, made its first appearance during the opening match Thursday (June 12) between Brazil and Croatia and quickly became a viral Internet favorite for soccer fans all over the world.

Deterring Defenders

The disappearing paint is being used to mark off an area defenders can't cross during a free kick.

Here's an explanation for the non-soccer fans: A referee can award a free kick after stopping play for an infraction. When a free kick is awarded, the team resumes play from the spot of the foul with a pass or shot at the goal, and the opposing team must be at least 10 yards (or 9.15 meters) away when the ball is kicked.

However, opposing players often sneak closer than 10 yards, which has frequently started arguments over fairness in past games.

It's a problem the spray paint's creator, Pablo Silva, an Argentinian sports journalist, is all too familiar with.

"It started seven or eight years ago when I was playing in a championship played amongst former school members," Silva told Reuters.

Silva was bothered when a referee didn't call a foul on opposing players too close to the free kick area.

"We lost the game and, driving home later, with a mixture of anger and bitterness, I thought that we must invest something to stop this."

A Study in Soccer

Silva worked with chemical engineers to develop the spray. His team watched more than 1,500 matches worldwide to study how long it took to make the free kick and how far the defensive wall moved forward.

World Cup in Brazil

"We lost the game and, driving home later, with a mixture of anger and bitterness, I thought that we must invest something to stop this," said the paint's inventor, Pablo Silva.

"Hopefully, this can contribute to enforcing the current rules and improve the time that the ball is in play," Silva told Reuters.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced the decision to use the spray paint for the World Cup in May.

"For the discipline of the game, it's good," Blatter told The Associated Press. "I was skeptical at first, but after talking to referees who used this system, they were all happy with it,".

   

Tagged categories: Paint application; Spray Paint; Stadiums/Sports Facilities; Trends

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (6/17/2014, 8:27 AM)

Very nice. Looks like a foam of some type.


Comment from Cristiano Godoy, (6/19/2014, 12:22 AM)

A very smart an idea, players can not cross or step forward giving a hard time to the quicker.


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