Argentinian journalist and entrepreneur Pablo Silva developed a commercial version of the spray called "9:15 Fairplay," a reference to the metric equivalent of the free-kick distance requirement.
"We find the vanishing spray to be extremely useful and very effective in ensuring the defenders are 10 yards from the ball," Paul Rejer, training and development manager for the Professional Referees Organization, told CNN.
The vanishing spray contains a mixture of butane, isobutane and propane gas; a foaming agent; water; and other chemicals. When it leaves the can, the gas depressurizes and expands, creating small, water-covered droplets on the field. The butane mixture later evaporates, leaving only water and surfactant residue behind.
Use of the spray at the World Cup ignited quite a buzz on Twitter. "Please tell me I'm not the only one with strange fascination with the magical spray paint use before free kicks," tweeted @EmmaBlahh. "It wasn't the vanishing spray was impressed with, it was more the flamboyancy with which it was administered," tweeted @MickCityTalk.