Vanishing Spray in the Premier League

In what could be considered one of the shortest petition lifespans, the Premier League have announced that they will be using the World Cup’s infamous ‘magic spray’ starting this season.

Following pressure from fans and campaigning from the Daily Mirror’s #YesToMagicSpray campaign, the FA agreed to equip its referees and assistant referees with the canisters from August.


It’s clearly fantastic news for football fans, who first witnessed the foam in action during this summer’s World Cup. Vanishing spray is used to mark out lines where free kick walls can be set up behind, making it much harder for defenders to sneak forward when the referee isn’t watching.

The spray disappears off the pitch within minutes so as not to confuse players and officials for the remainder of the match.

In a game that’s infamous for slowly taking advantage of technology that’s made available, vanishing spray certainly gained a large backing from those that witnessed its effective use at the World Cup.

Goal line technology also debuted on the international stage this summer, but has only been a part of the Premier League for one season.

Despite vanishing spray being ushered in to make set plays easier for the attacking team, just three goals were scored directly from free kicks at this World Cup, the lowest since 1986.

In contrast, nine goals were scored at both 2002 and 2006 finals, and five in 2010.

David Luiz scoring THAT free kick at the World Cup (Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
David Luiz scoring THAT free kick at the World Cup (Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

With the reins of FIFA still firmly in Sepp Blatter’s self-centred palms, advances in the game even as small as this should be praised as huge hurdles passed. In the meantime we can only hope that he backtracks on his approach to technology helping to advance and balance the game.

However, fans of the Premier League can now look forward to free kicks even more now that there’s a high chance of the vanishing spray making an appearance in each game this coming season.

The 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season will kick off on Saturday 16 August 2014. For more info, head to their official site: http://www.premierleague.com

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