Friday 19 January 2018

Trumpets won't be banned despite criticisms

Gugulakhe Lourie in Johannesburg

Vuvuzelas will not be banned from the World Cup despite the fearsome din the plastic trumpets make inside and outside the stadiums, organisers insisted last night.

"Vuvuzelas are here to stay and will never be banned," said Rich Mkhondo, a spokesman for the World Cup organising committee in South Africa.

Television viewers, broadcasters and players have complained about the deafening noise, which sounds like a herd of charging elephants or the drone of a thousand angry bees.

However, Mr Mkhondo said: "People love the vuvuzelas around the world. Only a minority are against vuvuzelas."

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk has already banned the instrument from his team's training sessions, while several players have complained they cannot communicate through the din during games.


FIFA president Sepp Blatter yesterday defended South African fans' right to blow their vuvuzela horns despite the growing global criticism.

"I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound," the FIFA president said. "I don't see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country."

Mr Blatter went on to ask: "Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country?"

FIFA and Mr Blatter have strongly backed the use of vuvuzelas since they were introduced to the wider football world at the Confederations Cup in South Africa last year.

Spain striker David Villa, who played in that tournament, said the noise could affect players' ability to perform on the field.

"In many parts of the game, it can bother you a bit because you can't communicate anything to a teammate who's more than 10 metres away from you," he said.

However, Villa added that the noise "brings a nice ambience and some emotion".

Organising committee spokesman Rich Mkhondo dismissed the growing chorus of complaints from television viewers worldwide and said television viewers were different people than the fans bringing the instruments to matches.

"I wouldn't dwell too much on what outsiders think about vuvuzelas. I would dwell on what the feelings of the spectators are."

Mr Mkhondo said the vuvuzela was now an international instrument, and visitors were "stuffing them into their suitcase" before going home from the World Cup.

England defender Jamie Carragher said he's been asked to take some back.

"My kids have been on the phone and they want two. I've got two in my bag already," Carragher said.

He added that vuvuzelas were also being used by fans from other countries -- a view backed up by the enormous extra demand seen by vuvuzela outlets across South Africa.

The vuvuzela industry is worth 50 million rand (€5.3m) in South Africa and Europe.

Irish Independent

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