BUENOS AIRES: The Argentinian manufacturer of football’s vanishing spray is threatening to sue the German federation if it seeks another version of the referees’ new ‘free-kick friend’ writes KEIR RADNEDGE,

This follows a warning to the DFB from Germany’s national scientific testing unit Technischer Überwachungs-Verein (TÜV), that the 9.15 Fair Play spray was unsafe because of its content and illegal throughout the European Union.

The German federation had delayed introducing the spray – such  success at the World Cup – into the Bundesliga until mid-October while testing was undertaken. One of the concerns was that the spray might freeze in mid-winter low temperatures.

Lutz-Michael Fröhlich, for the DFB, had indicated that, after teh initial testing, it might “look for alternatives to the expensive import from Argentina.”

The spray was developed in Brazil in 2000 by Belo Horizonte inventor Heine Allemagne and he later partnered with Silva six years later to refine, produce and patent the spray.


Silva, after the German controversy erupted, hit back.

He said: “If the DFB uses a spray from another provider, we will make a legal complaint. Other vendors may not use our patent. Neither the ingredients nor the principle of the invention itself. That would be totally illegal.

“The spray is no risk to health. More than 300,000 games were conducted with the spray. We comply with all laws.”

German testers had pointed out to the lack of a flamability label but Silva said its absence was an oversight which had now been corrected. He said: “The required lavel is now attached. So there is in my view no reason not to use the spray in Germany.”

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.