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Page last updated at 22:47 GMT, Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Argentines use 'free-kick' spray

Juan Roman Riquelme of First Division team Boca Juniors
The spray will be used in first division matches next season

The Argentine Football Association is to introduce an aerosol spray to stop defenders creeping closer to the ball during a free-kick.

From next year, referees will use the spray in first division matches.

Referees will mark a temporary white line 9.15 metres (10 yards) from the ball, which defenders cannot cross. The spray will disappear 30 seconds later.

Pablo Silva says he invented the spray and got the idea when he failed to score with a free-kick.

"In the 88th minute, we were losing 1-0 and won a free-kick on the edge of the area. When I took the kick, the wall was three metres away," the amateur player told Reuters earlier this year.

"The referee didn't book anyone and didn't do anything," he said.

"We lost the game, and driving home later, with a mixture of anger and bitterness, I thought that we must invent something to stop this."

The spray has been given a trial in second division matches and a similar spray has been used for several years in some competitions in Brazil.

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