Next year, an innovative, albeit slightly odd, technique will be introduced in first division football matches in Argentina. One of the most frustrating moments during many football games occurs when defenders creep forwards when the attacking team is preparing to take a free-kick.
This often leads to the free-kick being retaken, sometimes several times, as well as unnecessary bookings. Such activity interrupts the flow of the game and some pundits believe it to be unsporting.
Officials working for the Argentine Football Association now think that they have found a cunning solution. They are going to introduce an aerosol spray, which will hopefully stop defenders creeping forwards towards the ball during free-kick situations.
The spray will be used by referees to mark an obvious white line on the ground, ten yards away from the ball. Defenders will not be allowed to cross this line, which will disappear approximately thirty seconds after the initial spray.
The spray is the invention of Pablo Silva, who became frustrated by defenders continually preventing goal scoring opportunities from free-kicks during amateur matches.
Silva explained how his team was recently presented with a good opportunity to level an amateur match in the closing minutes of the game. The free-kick was positioned on the edge of the penalty area but defenders crept forwards and interfered with play. However, the defenders went unpunished by the referee and Silva’s team lost the game.
Whether or not the spray has any lasting impact upon the game in Argentina, it is nice to see footballing officials taking decisive action to help solve one of the frustrating issues inherent in the game.