What is the 'vanishing spray' used in FIFA World Cup 2014?

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'915 Fair Play', the 'vanishing spray' for World Cup
Sao Paulo, June 14: FIFA World Cup 2014 has commenced in Brazil and during the four matches so far, you might have seen the referees using a can of spray to mark a white line to draw the defensive wall during free kicks.

World Cup Special

This is the latest innovation in this World Cup. Called the 'vanishing spray', it will be used by referees to mark a line for defenders to stand behind during free kicks. 'Vanishing spray' and Goal-line technology are making their debut in this World Cup.

Japan's Yuichi Nishimura became the first referee at the World Cup to use the 'vanishing spray'. During the tournament opener between Brazil and Croatia in Sao Paulo on Thursday (June 12), Nishimura pulled out a can and sprayed on the pitch when Croatia conceded a free kick in the first half. The spray vanishes within a minute.

Many wondered what the referee was doing. But soon it was known that he was using 'vanishing spray' to stop encroachments from the defensive wall and moving the position of the ball during free kicks.

The 'vanishing spray' is not being used for the first time on a football pitch. The spray made its debut during the 2011 Copa America tournament.

When a free kick is awarded, the referee will pull out this 'vanishing spray' can out of holster and mark a circle where the ball should be placed. And then, 10 yards (the required distance) from the ball, sprays a line behind which the defenders need to stand for free kicks.

At the World Cup, "915 Fair Play" is the name of the 'vanishing spray' used. On the homepage of its website, it reads "915 Fairplay the official vanishing spray of the World Cup Brazil 2014".

"I think it's a great idea. Use a spray to mark the distance between the barrier and the kicker can be a great help" Cristiano Ronaldo was quoted as saying on the website.

According to the website, "915 Fair Play is a vanishing spray, a substance applied to an athletic field in order to provide a temporary visual marker for use by both players and referees for the purposes of ensuring fair-play. It is used primarily by association football referees to indicate the minimum distance that members of the opposing team must remain from the ball during a free kick, as well as the spot from which the kick is taken."

'Vanishing spray' is the brainchild of Argetinian journalist and entrepreneur Pablo Silva, according to "CNN".

"It started seven or eight years ago when I was playing in a championship played amongst former school members," Silva told Reuters.

"In the 88th minute, we were losing 1-0 and won a free kick on the edge of the area. When I took the kick, the wall (of opposing players) was three meters away. The referee didn't book anyone and didn't do anything. We lost the game and driving home later, with a mixture of anger and bitterness, I thought that we must invent something to stop this," Silva said.

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