Day 27 of the Brazil World Cup. First semi-final tonight as Brazil take on Germany.
Heine Allemagne, 43, who has given FIFA free use of his vanishing spray invention at the finals, says he is driven by a love of the game and helping referees keep discipline rather than becoming a multi-millionaire.
The referee sprays a line of biodegradable foam derived from vegetable oil in a line on the pitch indicating where the players must stand at a freekick, and that line disappears within a minute or two.
I had no commercial ambition, I wanted to develop the product. Perhaps there will be some financial side but that can come later, I wanted to get the product perfect for football.
I wanted to help the referees keep discipline. The time now taken at free-kick has dropped from 48 seconds to around 20 seconds. There are less yellow and red cards and more goals from free-kicks, and the players respect the line.
The prototype was first used in the minor Copa Belo Horizonte in 2000. It was gradually used in higher levels and two years later the Brazilian FA (CBF) sanctioned its use after it received a 100 per cent approval rating by the referees who had it.
Although local football authorities welcomed it in the early stages, he said FIFA president Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jerome Valcke needed some convincing when they reached a more advanced stage.
Some people needed convincing like them. Blatter was sceptical in the beginning but then realised this solved a football problem.
Some people did not think it was necessary or would act as enough deterrent to keep people behind the line. But they changed their minds.
Allemagne, who was born and raised in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil when he came up with idea 14 years ago. A keen amateur footballer, he was increasingly irritated by the time-wasting that surrounded every free kick at every level of the game with players encroaching towards the ball.7
Allemagne holds an international patent for the product and is protective of it and he could become a very wealthy man out of it, but that does not appear to be his goal.
I am just a face in the crowd, someone from Minas Gerais who tackled a century-old problem. There are ethical values involved. Multinational companies absorb the work of others and make their profits, but my journey is not about that.
8 July – Brazil v Germany, kick of at 9pm BST , live on BBC and to be played at the Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
Referee: Marci Rodriguez (Mex)
Assistant Referees: Marvin TORRENTERA (MEX) and Marcos QUINTERO (MEX)
Fourth official:Mark GEIGER (USA)
9 July – Netherlands v Argentina. Kick of at 9pm BST , live on ITV and to be played at the Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo
Referee: Cuneyt CAKIR (Turkey)
Assistant Referees: Bahattin DURAN (TUR) and Tarik ONGUN (TUR)
Fourth official: Jonas ERIKSSON (SWE)
FIFA have issued the following statement after the arrest of Ray Whelan
FIFA has taken note that Ray Whelan, Director of the Accommodation office of MATCH Services, a service provider of FIFA, was taken in at the Copacabana Palace today by the police for questioning about the alleged involvement related to the ‘Operation Jules Rimet’.
FIFA continues to fully collaborate with the local authorities and will provide any details requested to assist with this ongoing investigation.
FIFA wants to reiterate as mentioned at various occasions its firm stance against any form of violation of the criminal law and the ticketing regulations, and is fully supporting the security authorities in our joint efforts to clamp down on any unauthorized ticket sales.
Scolari on the absence of Neymar
He has done his share. Now it’s up to us to do our share.
This match we’ll be playing not just for ourselves but for our country, for everything we’ve ever dreamed of, but also for Neymar and everything he’s done for us. Within our group, we’ve accepted that. We’ve left our sad phase behind and we’re focusing on other things.