Football

Vanishing spray's big presence

Published 1019 GMT (1819 HKT) July 8, 2014
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It's there one minute ... and gone the next. This "magic spray" has been one of the stars of the World Cup in Brazil. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
It has been introduced in order to give top stars such as Lionel Messi more of a chance to show their dead-ball skills. Ian Walton/Getty Images
First the match official sprays around the ball, as seen in the previous image, and then marks out the 10 yards (9.15 meters) to where the defending team's wall must retreat. FABRIZIO BENSCH/AFP/Getty Images
Previously, players have tested officials -- and the patience of opponents and watching fans -- by getting as close to the free-kick taker as possible. JUAN BARRETO
Here English referee Howard Webb tries the vanishing spray during a seminar for 2014 FIFA World Cup referees on March 27, 2014 at the home of FIFA in Zurich. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
The spray was first tested in junior leagues and then at age-grade international tournaments, such as the 2013 South American Under-20 Championship. ALEJANDRO PAGNI/AFP/Getty Images/file