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Gero Breloer/AP/Press Association Images A referee uses vanishing spray to mark the position of the ball before a free kick during the Under-20 World Cup Group last summer.
# bang... and the line is gone
FIFA approves vanishing spray at Club World Cup
Vanishing spray, which disappears within in a minute, is a foam squirted onto the pitch to mark the line where the defending team set up their defensive wall before a free kick.

FIFA TODAY SAID it planned to deploy so-called vanishing spray at the looming Club World Cup to make life easier for referees and cut down on yellow cards.

In a statement, world football’s governing body said that the spray would be used at the 11-21 December tournament in Morocco after trials at this year’s Under-20 and Under-17 World Cups.

Vanishing spray, which disappears within in a minute, is a foam squirted onto the pitch to mark the line where the defending team set up their defensive wall before a free kick is taken.

Referees pace the regulatory 9.15 metres (30 feet) between the ball and the nearest defender and then spray a white line to mark the correct position of the wall.

Massimo Busacca, the Swiss former top-level referee who now head FIFA’s refereeing wing, said that vanishing spray was lauded by match officials who tested it.

“A large majority of the officials considered the spray as a useful and helpful tool,” Busacca said. “The spray has a clear preventive effect: The distance was always respected, so no yellow card for not respecting the distance had to be given throughout the two tournaments played so far,” he added.

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FIFA is to carry out further evaluations after the Club World Cup and decide whether the spray will be used in future international tournaments. The Club World Cup pits the champions of football’s six regional confederations, plus the league winner from the host country.

This year’s edition involves Germany’s Bayern Munich, Atletico Mineiro of Brazil, Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, Egypt’s Al-Ahly, Mexican club Monterrey, New Zealanders Auckland City, and Morocco’s Raja Casablanca.

- © AFP, 2013

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