Blatter: Vanishing spray to be used at World Cup

The spray, which is designed prevent defensive walls from moving forward on free kicks, will be used at next year's tournament after positive feedback at the Club World Cup.
A vanishing spray used by referees at the Club World Cup will be implemented at next year's World Cup in Brazil, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Thursday.

The spray, which is designed to be prevent walls gaining an illegal advantage in set-piece situations and has been used in North and South America, was tested in Morocco at the Club World Cup. The response has been positive, Blatter said.

"I think it's a very good solution. Some say it takes too much time and I was also quite sceptical at the beginning, but all the referees who have used the system were pleased with it," Blatter told reporters.

In a free kick scenario, the wall must be 10 years away from the player taking the set piece. The official will spray the turf where the wall should stand to prevent it from creeping forward, and the spray disappears after one minute.

The idea has already been used in MLS, Brazil and Argentina and the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups, and the feedback has been good.

Blatter added: "The representative of Bayern Munich said that here they can take free kicks with the wall nine meters away, while at home it's only five. It's a novelty. ... We will start using it in the World Cup in Brazil."

However, not everyone is on board, including Guangzhou Evergrande coach Marcello Lippi, who led Italy to the World Cup in 2006.

“It’s an intelligent idea, but for it to work, the referee has to measure the right distance between the ball and the wall,” Lippi said. “There were two Bayern free kicks where he made our wall retreat 15 meters.”

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer added: "We don't like to hesitate taking free kicks in the danger zone and play them quick.

"It can take about one or two minutes with that spray to just take the free kick. Especially when the game is tied against defensive teams, this can be bad for the game."