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Dec 19, 2013

Spray confirmed for World Cup

A day after booking their place in the final of the Club World Cup in Morocco, the players of Bayern Munich were back on the training pitch.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has confirmed that vanishing spray trialled by referees at the Club World Cup will be used at the 2014 World Cup.

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The spray, which marks the 10-yard area between where a free kick should be taken from and where the wall should be positioned, has been tested at the under-20 and under-17 World Cups this year and is currently undergoing another test in Morocco.

And Blatter is happy with the results of the experiment, saying: "I think it's a very good solution. Some say it takes too much time and I was also quite sceptical at the beginning but all the referees who have used the system were pleased with it."

However, it has not been received well by everyone, with Bayern Munich players and staff criticising its potential use as a tool for timewasting.

"That vanishing spray makes the game a bit slower," Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer said after Bayern’s 3-0 victory against Guangzhou Evergrande on Tuesday.

"We like to not hesitate taking free kicks in the dangerous zone and play them quick. It can take about one or two minutes with that spray to just take the free kick. Especially when the game is tied against defensive teams this can be bad for the game."

Neuer was not the only one to voice his concern about the use of the vanishing spray, with Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos adding: "At first glance, it’s a bit funny and odd. But I don’t think it will help anyone in the long run."

Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer was less diplomatic on the subject branding it "a flop."

"If it’s 18 to 20 metres away from the goal, then it might be useful,” Sammer said. “But with free kicks on the wing it’s just a waste of time.

"For me the spray has been a flop right from start. Just imagine in a game on a razor’s edge, and the ref needs to take his time to mark out the distance."

That sentiment was echoed by German Football League executive Andreas Rettig, who told Bild: "I am of the opinion that there are other things of more importance than the introduction of the vanishing spray."

 

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