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Question Number: 24800

Law 13 - Free Kicks 4/10/2011

RE: PRO Professional

Kyle of Vancouver, BC Canada asks...

I was watching the MLS game Vancouver Whitecaps versus the Houston Dynamo, Sunday April 10th 2011. During the first half of the game there was a free kick called against Vancouver just outside their own 18 yard box. The referee then had the player place the ball and then he brought some sort of spray can out of his pocket and drew a circle around where the ball had been placed. Then after counting out the 10 yards for the wall he sprayed a line in front of where the Vancouver wall was. Why did the referee do this? Is this new for FIFA??

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Kyle
This 'vanishing spray' system called AeroComex Futline has been used in South America for many years. IFAB at its recent meeting in March 2010 formally approved its use in the Laws of the Game which will come in to effect on the 1st June 2010.
MLS has indicated that it is going to adopt its use so this game must have been a trial or permission was sought and given by FIFA for its immediate use
The system can be viewed here

I personally don't agree with it yet if it is being used in South America its use either deserves formal approval or not allowed. In my opinion its introduction was due to referees not following the laws as laid down in the Laws of the Game.
I don't see myself carrying this spray.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

This is simply ludicrous. What MLS, US Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association seem to be saying is referees are too stupid and too gutless to enforce the required 10 yards. Referees do not need to paint a line on the ground to enforce the required 10 yards. Every MLS player knows exactly where 10 yards is. So do the referees. All the referees have to do is enforce the requirement. They do this the first 10 minutes of every game and players will respond accordingly.

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy

Kyle, Don Garber, Commissioner for MLS said: In determining the correct distances on free kicks, the league will copy the Mexican League's method of using a vanishing aerosol spray that would enforce the required 10 yards. Garber also said the league is finalizing plans with U.S. Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association. The MLS has now begun implementing the use of AeroComex Futline, which was invented by a disgruntled fan and which has been in use in Brazil since 2005.
This method will clearly show visually when defenders encroach on a ceremonial free kick situation. Without the marker, defenders creep up from the place the referee set and by the time the ball is kicked may have encroached one two or three yards, giving the defenders an unfair advantage.
Obvi0usly the closer the free kick is to the red zone (from where goals could easily result) the more relevance this spray has. No point using it when the defenders take a free kick.

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