Vanishing spray set to make appearance in Champions League
Inventor also confident that foam will be used in English Premier League
Referee Nicola Rizzoli of Italy marks the ground with vanishing spray during the 2014 World Cup Group F soccer match between Argentina and Nigeria at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre. Photograph: Edgard Garrido/Reuters
The man who invented the vanishing spray that has been used at the World Cup said Uefa will use it in the Champions League for the first time next season – and hopes it will be adopted in the Premier League.
The foam has been used by referees at free-kicks to make sure defensive walls do not encroach on the 10-yard gap – it lasts around a minute before it disappears.
Heine Allegmagne worked with a company to concoct the spray from vegetable oil derivatives and it was used for the first time in a competitive match in Belo Horizonte in 2000. He has obtained the international patent for the firm.
It was adopted widely in Brazil and Argentina and was used in 18,000 games in numerous competitions before being passed by the International FA Board in 2012 as being permitted for use in any country. The Premier League is expected to discuss with clubs whether to introduce it after being given a report from its referees chief Mike Riley.
Allegmagne, speaking in Belo Horizonte ahead of the Brazil v Germany semi-final, said: “It’s already been agreed that Uefa will use this in their championships.
“Some people have been conservative but I hope that people around the world, including the Premier League, will be impressed by what they have seen in this World Cup.
Allegmagne, who is from Minais Gerais, the state in which Belo Horizonte is located, said the spray costs around €4 per can. He has provided 320 to Fifa for the World Cup in Brazil.
He added: “The Eureka moment came when I was listening to the radio and the commentator was talking about the wall not staying back. It came to me I could do something.
“I wanted to solve a technical problem that had been plaguing football for more than a century.
“The big historic moment came in 2000 when the spray was first used here in Belo Horizonte.”
Allegmagne first called the spray Spuni before he teamed up with an Argentinian, Pablo Silva, to improve it. The new version was renamed 9.15 Fair Play – a reference to the wall having to be 9.15 metres (10 yards) from the free-kick.