KEIR RADNEDGE in ZURICH: The use of vanishing spray in European football has been thrown into doubt by a German scientific assessor which has ruled that the contents are illegal under European Union laws.

The spray, already widely used in Latin America to control defensive walls at free kicks, was a massive ‘hit’ with both match officials and fans at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

It was introduced immediately this season by European federation UEFA for its club competitions and Euro 2016 qualifiers and by a number of domestic championships, including the English Premier League.

The German Bundesliga, however, set a cautious mid-October date for its introduction pending the outcome of safety tests.

Now the national testing institute, the Technischer Überwachungs-Verein (TÜV), has ruled against use of the ‘9.15 Fair Play’ spray which was dreamed up in Brazil and manufactured for use in cooperation with an Argentinian company.

The spray was subjected to a nine-day testing regime and, according to researcher Dr Greta Dau, failed health and safety tests on chemical compound and flammability grounds.

Greta Dau, a TÜV researcher, was reported by the German media as saying: “It should not be used in Germany and in the European Union because it is not legally permissible.”

She said that referees who used the spray would, theoretically, risk legal action and possible fines.