NYON: European federation UEFA has confirmed that vanishing spray paint will be used this coming season in the Champions League and Europa League writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
It will make its ‘debut’ in the Supercup clash between European champions Real Madrid and Europa League holders Sevilla in Cardiff next Tuesday.
UEFA president Michel Platini said that the spray – a star feature at the World Cup in Brazil – had been tested positively by its own officials at the European Under-17 Championship in Malta in May.
Platini added: “I am pleased that the Referees Committee decided to approve the use of the vanishing spray in our senior competitions.
“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.
“The late Argentina FA president Julio Grondona 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 spray, used for some years in Latin America, was tested by world federation FIFA last year at all its junior championships.
Created by a Brazilian, it will be used in the 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 Euro 2016, which begin in September.