Largely positive experience with the use of vanishing spray in FIFA competitions

After a successful trial during the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey in July 2013 and very good overall feedback from the participating referees in the FIFA U-17 World Cup United Arab Emirates 2013, FIFA has decided to use the vanishing spray during the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco in December 2013.

The use of the vanishing spray, was approved by all International Football Association Board (IFAB) members during the Board’s 126th Meeting, in Surrey, Great Britain, on March 3rd 2012. The IFAB decided that any confederation, member association or league could use this in the future if they wished. The spray is an innovative tool created to help modern refereeing by giving the match official the opportunity to mark the line where the defending team is to set up its defensive wall before a free kick is taken. Referees pace the regulatory 9.15 meters between the ball and the nearest defender and then spray a white line on the pitch to mark the correct position of the wall. The line then disappears from the pitch within a minute.

For FIFA Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca the vanishing spray is an important tool for the referees. The feedback that he received from his match officials was largely positive, as Busacca explained. “A large majority of the officials considered the spray as a useful and helpful tool," he 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. After the Club World Cup in Morocco further evaluations will be made. We will review the results and discuss if the spray will be used also in future FIFA competitions."