The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil has come to a close and the German national team has been crowned the champions. Now that the dust has settled on this world-wide event, we can take some time to think back at all of the unforgettable moments. From the amazing goals to the heart breaks and everything in between, there was something else that intrigued viewers this year, and that was the invention of the “magic spray.”

If you aren’t familiar with what we are talking about, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, referees would use the magic spray to keep the defensive wall 10 yards from the ball during free kicks. However, the inventor of this curious spray was more concerned with enhancing the game than enhancing his bank account.

Inventor Heine Allemagne currently holds an international patent for this invention and gave FIFA the free use of it at the World Cup. You read that correctly, this inventor let FIFA use his invention for free. But, why? Because he was driven by his love of the game and helping referees instill discipline.

The invention at its core is very simple. It allows a referee to spray a line of biodegradable foam that comes from vegetable oil in a line on the field. This line then indicates where the players must stand during a free kick. You might be thinking that by the end of a game the field would be covered in foam lines. However, once the line is sprayed, it disappears within a minute or two.

The idea for Allemagne’s invention originated when he became more and more irritated with the time-wasting that occurred during every free kick as players encroached towards the ball. 

So, he took matters into his own hands, or for the sake of this soccer blog, his own feet, when he developed the first prototype that was used during the minor Copa Belo Horizonte in 2000.

Magic Spray 2

As time went on, this invention slowly but surely made its way into higher levels of soccer and two years later, the Brazilian FA (CBF) gave permission for the spray to be used after it was given a 100 percent approval  rating from the referees who had previously used it.

By 2012, the magic spray had already undergone a slew of technical modifications along the way and was tested in 18,000 professional games. Finally, it was approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Most inventions come out of necessity or as a solution to an ongoing problem. The problem that the invention of the magic spray solved was keeping defenders behind a certain line during free kicks. With its popularity and ability to keep players in line, literally, we think that this won’t be the last time that we see the magic spray during a soccer match!

Copyright Inventionland 2014