Prague - The Czech football league referees will use as from September a special spray to make players keep in the correct distance from the ball during free kicks, Czech Football Association´s (FACR) chief referee Dagmar Damkova said today, adding that a supply of spray is awaited from Argentina.
Fotbalový rozhodčí označuje mizícím sprejem místo pro rozehrání přímého kopu - ilustrační foto ČTK/AP ČTK/AP
Damkova said she had negotiated about the introduction of the sprays for six years but the FACR nodded to the plan only now that the novelty proved effective at the World Cup in Brazil and is to be introduced by the UEFA as well.
"This was a signal for me that I might succeed...I´ve agreed with my Hungarian colleague to order a supply jointly. Now we are waiting for it to arrive from Argentina," Damkova said.
She said she learnt about the sprays during her visit to Brazil, where the idea comes from, six years ago.
"I saw it on Brazilian TV and I immediately felt that it would benefit the Czech league. I proposed it to the FACR and the FIFA. They called me crazy," Damkova said.
Most recently, nevertheless, FACR chairman Miroslav Pelta backed her in her efforts. The sprays cost $6 apiece plus $10 for a device that fastens the spray up on a referee´s belt.
The spray is used to draw a line in front of the "wall" of players so that they do not narrow the required distance of 9.15 metres from the ball during a free kick.
"They usually move a metre or a half-metre forward. The [sprayed] line is a block they do not dare transgress," Damkova said.
She said Czech referees will now train measuring the right distance correctly.
The spray, invented and produced of vegetable oil by Brazilian Heine Allemagne, was first used in Bello Horizonte, Brazil, in 2000. It reacts only with lawn and it disappears after a few minutes.