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Vanishing spray paint approved for UEFA games

"This spray is very useful," said UEFA President Michel Platini after the UEFA Referees Committee approved introducing vanishing spray paint for UEFA matches following a trial.

Referee Pedro Proença using vanishing spray paint at the FIFA World Cup finals
Referee Pedro Proença using vanishing spray paint at the FIFA World Cup finals ©Getty Images

Vanishing spray paint, used by the referee to mark the spot a free-kick is taken and the minimum required distance for the defensive wall, is to be used in UEFA competition games following a successful trial.

"After a successful test at the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Malta, I am pleased that the Referees Committee decided to approve the use of the vanishing spray in our senior competitions," explained UEFA President Michel Platini.

"As we all saw at the World Cup, this spray was very useful in helping the referee in free-kick situations, and I am sure we will see similar results in our matches this season. I take this opportunity to praise the late Argentina Football Association president Julio Grondona who initially pushed the International Board to use the vanishing spray a few years ago. His contribution and determination was instrumental in the implementation process."

UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina added: "We initially discussed the introduction of the vanishing spray with all the top UEFA referees at our winter course in Lisbon last February and then tested it in Malta at the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in May. Following the successful test and the Referees Committee approval, we will already use the spray in the UEFA Super Cup next week.

"In my opinion, there is no doubt that the spray allows the referees to have an easier control in free-kick situations, as players cannot try to make the wall distance shorter by using the so-called 'penguin walk' tactic. Once the defensive wall has been correctly positioned, the free-kick will be taken with the distance respected."

The vanishing spray paint received positive feedback when it was first tried out at the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Malta this summer, and will be used for the first time in a UEFA club competition in the UEFA Super Cup game between Real Madrid CF and Sevilla FC in Cardiff on 12 August. It will be deployed in the UEFA Champions League from the play-off round onward, and in the UEFA Europa League from the start of the group stage. The spray will also be used in the European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2016, which begin in September.

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