During the World Cup, the referees sprayed something on the ground. It looked like it was white paint, but it was foamy. It was right before a free-kick on goal.

What was the stuff they sprayed on the ground?

  • 14
    Why, it's shaving cream of course!
    – Seth
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 18:30
  • Just a general observation: this stuff is incredibly pointless. I've seen players with a whole boot over the line, and it adds on at least another 20 seconds to the process of setting up the free kick. What's the point of drawing a strict line if it's not going to be enforced? If the referees actually kept an eye on the ball and an eye on the wall at all times to prevent movement of either, we wouldn't need this stuff and would save a lot of time. /vent Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 12:35

1 Answer 1


It's called "Vanishing foam".

It is used by the referees to indicate the minimum distance the players must maintain from ball, in the event of a free kick, as well as the spot from where it is taken.

Some technical details: The can contains water (~80%), butane gas (~17%), surfactant (~1%), and other ingredients including vegetable oil (~2%).

The foam is now authorised for use in top flight football for the Bundesliga in Germany, however Germany's consumer protection agency has banned it due to greenhouse gas concerns, Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in France, La Liga in Spain, the Premier League in England, the Synot liga in Czech Republic, the A-League in Australia and Thai Premier League in Thailand.

Refer this wiki link.

Also another link.


  • 5
    The referee marks the place of foul (aka where the ball will be placed on a kick) and then he marks where the wall can stay (10 yards from the ball). Also notice that the foam disappears after a few minutes.
    – alamoot
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 17:32
  • 3
    Hence the name "vanishing" foam.
    – SahuKahn
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 4:16

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