Fans have grown accustomed to the events that occur during a free kick in any soccer game.
The referee indicates where the kick is from, then paces off 10 yards to show the wall of defenders where to stand. The moment the ref turns away from the wall, players shuffle forward before the ball is kicked, defeating the purpose of measuring the distance in the first place.
Fortunately for 2014 World Cup referees, help is on the way.
A new vanishing spray will be used throughout the tournament, which begins Thursday at 4 p.m., to mark spots on the field and prevent players from moving forward.
“I think it makes it easier for the referees to make decisions,” United States defender Fabian Johnson said. “They have a hard job, and I think it makes the game a lot easier for them.”
Referees will carry the aerosol can in a special belt. The substance, which looks like shaving cream, vanishes anywhere from 45-120 seconds after it has been sprayed.
Journalist Pablo Silva invented the current non-toxic form of the spray, which has been used in many different games prior to the World Cup, including MLS games.
There have been a few miscues from referees thus far when using the spray, including an instance where a Costa Rican official sprayed the foam all over the shoes of two Mexican players last weekend.
The most notable malfunction of the spray came during the MLS Cup last year, when a referee couldn’t get the spray to work because of cold temperatures.
Something tells us that temperatures wont be a problem for officials using the spray in the World Cup, hosted in Brazil.
Photo via Twitter/@kmfmofficial