How a Brazilian and an Argentinian bent FIFA and UEFA by condemning more than 100 million for the disappearing spray

They also said that UEFA gen­er­al­ly uses fakes.


If you watch foot­ball, you have noticed that ref­er­ees often use sprays. And did you know where and how he appeared? Also, against the back­ground of this spray, huge glob­al foot­ball orga­ni­za­tions incurred huge expens­es — all because of the greed of offi­cials.

The spray itself in foot­ball appeared at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. All fans liked the deci­sion to intro­duce it. The ref­er­ees began to clear­ly indi­cate the place where the penal­ty was tak­en, and also began to spray paint the bor­der for the wall. This became an effec­tive mea­sure against mov­ing the wall clos­er to the play­er tak­ing the free kick or mov­ing the ball clos­er to the goal.

Heine Ale­mag­nier is the cre­ator of the spray. The Brazil­ian has found a solu­tion against tricks in foot­ball, but the orga­ni­za­tions have com­plained about his rights. The man sued FIFA and tried to prove that his devel­op­ment called “9.15” was used with­out his per­mis­sion. The foot­ball orga­ni­za­tion did not even pay him com­pen­sa­tion as the own­er of the patent.

Lat­er, var­i­ous peo­ple came into con­tact with the man and began to trade. The nego­ti­a­tions did not go very smooth­ly, but still the par­ties agreed on 40 mil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion. The day after the agree­ment, every­thing went wrong again — Julio Gron­dona, pres­i­dent of the Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tion of Argenti­na, died. It was through him that Ale­man­je com­mu­ni­cat­ed with FIFA. As a result, tak­ing advan­tage of the sit­u­a­tion, oth­er peo­ple offered the Brazil­ian a ridicu­lous 500 thou­sand dol­lars. Heine was not con­fused and imme­di­ate­ly went to court.

On March 24, the judge sided with Ale­magne. FIFA lost the case and was forced to pay 120 mil­lion dol­lars to the devel­op­er of the mag­ic spray. Heine also enlist­ed the sup­port of Pablo Sil­va, the sec­ond man involved in the spray’s devel­op­ment.

“We are shocked that two ordi­nary peo­ple like us have con­demned a giant like FIFA,” Gazzetta quot­ed the duo as say­ing.

The Brazil­ian por­tal pub­lished pho­tos of Ale­man­je with foot­ball ref­er­ees from low­er leagues, who already in 2000 used his inven­tion to mark the ball and the wall on the field dur­ing a free kick. The patent own­ers also sus­pect­ed that FIFA was try­ing to sell the patent to oth­er com­pa­nies behind their backs. The Brazil­ian court has already decid­ed to charge FIFA $15,000 for each match under the aus­pices of the orga­ni­za­tion in 44 coun­tries where the patent is reg­is­tered. By the way, this list includes Rus­sia.

“In fact, we have the Coca-Cola for­mu­la — the same secret and unique com­po­si­tion. Inside the cylin­der is a solu­tion of pre­cise pro­por­tions of water, fuel and butane. The patent spec­i­fies a for­mu­la and vol­ume that does not harm the health of the play­ers and the lawn. Also, our com­po­si­tion is not sus­cep­ti­ble to rain,” the men answer the ques­tion about the com­po­si­tion of the dis­ap­pear­ing spray.

At the same time, accord­ing to Ale­manier, if FIFA sim­ply stole the tech­nol­o­gy, UEFA uses a low-qual­i­ty ana­logue. “Their solu­tion is so bad that the foam dis­ap­pears before it even reach­es the lawn. It’s about as use­less as if they gave ref­er­ees whis­tles that don’t whis­tle,” Spuni, the com­pa­ny that pro­duces the spray, com­plains.

FIFA was out­raged by such a brazen act of the Brazil­ian and Argen­tin­ian and imme­di­ate­ly went pub­lic with a state­ment: “But in gen­er­al, if Mr. Alle­mag­nier has any rights to the tech­nol­o­gy, it is bet­ter for him to dis­cuss it with oth­er spray man­u­fac­tur­ers, not with us. We are the world gov­ern­ing body for foot­ball, not a fac­to­ry for the pro­duc­tion or sale of foot­ball prod­ucts. That is why we are not inter­est­ed and have nev­er been inter­est­ed in buy­ing the rights to use this or that prod­uct.

In addi­tion, FIFA is not the orga­niz­er of all foot­ball match­es that take place on the plan­et. More­over, we can­not impose on the orga­niz­ers of the games where and what kind of spray to buy. There are sev­er­al man­u­fac­tur­ers of dis­ap­pear­ing spray on the mar­ket. FIFA pur­chased it from the Alle­mag­nier com­pa­ny, but did not instruct every­one to do the same.”

This case went so far that both men began receiv­ing threats if they did not with­draw the state­ment from the court. But no, they were not afraid and bent the sys­tem. They proved that they are the own­ers of the patent, and FIFA and UEFA have already opened their wal­lets to pay out the not-so-ridicu­lous 500,000 dol­lars, but almost the cost of Mykhai­lo Mudryk’s trans­fer to Chelsea — 120 mil­lion.

A mega-com­ic moment hap­pened in the match of the Greek foot­ball cham­pi­onship between the teams “Xan­thi” and “AEK”. The hosts got the right to a stan­dard near the oppo­nen­t’s penal­ty. Ref­er­ee Ioan­nis Papadopou­los cir­cled the spot of the kick with dis­ap­pear­ing spray to pre­vent Xan­thi mid­field­er Brito from mov­ing the ball, and in the process the ref­er­ee sprayed the foot­ball play­er’s boot. Brito showed a sense of humor, was osten­ta­tious­ly indig­nant and with a smile wiped his boot on the ref­er­ee’s leg. The ref­er­ee did not appre­ci­ate the joke and showed the play­er a yel­low card.

But John Moss, the ref­er­ee of the Pre­mier League, did not go well with the spray either. He acci­den­tal­ly splashed Arse­nal play­er San­ti Cazor­la with it. So, there were a lot of sit­u­a­tions with the spray, both com­i­cal and finan­cial.


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