Referees in Barclays Premier League matches next season will use the vanishing spray that came to prominence in the recent World Cup in Brazil, it has been announced.
The magic spray will be used at free kicks to mark out where the wall should stand 10 yards away from the ball and has been shown to prevent encroachment and speed up play. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "At the Premier League we are open to developments that enhance the competition and it was clear from watching the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil that vanishing spray benefited referees, players, and all of those who watched the matches."
Mike Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) which overseas top-flight referees, was an assessor at the World Cup and recommended it be adopted by the Premier League. He said: "I saw first-hand the benefits of vanishing spray for referees, and for the game as a whole. The Select Group referees are looking forward to using it during Barclays Premier League matches next season."
The Premier League will use spray produced by 9.15 Fair Play Limit – the same supplier for the World Cup in Brazil. The spray will also be used by UEFA in the Champions League and Europa League – it lasts around a minute before it disappears.
The inventor Heine Allegmagne, from near Belo Horizonte in Brazil, called his company 9.15 Fair Play in reference to the wall having to be 9.15 meters (10 yards) from the free kick. The Football League will hold a trial of the spray in this season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said: "Having seen it used in the recent World Cup, the introduction of vanishing spray into the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy will give us the opportunity to observe its use in domestic football so that we can better understand its effect on the flow of the game.
"It will also give us the ability to gauge the opinions of players, managers, referees and fans."
The Football Association is expected to submit a proposal for using the spray in the FA Cup to the FA Cup committee. If the proposal is approved, it would be used in the first round onwards.