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Vuvuzelas cause a rumble

June 15, 2010

The African spirit has captured the imagination of many at the World Cup

‘A blowing horn of up to approximately 3ft 3in in length, commonly blown at football matches in South Africa’. That is the definition of the vuvuzela (provided by Wikipedia), the instrument that has not only caused a number of spectators to go deaf over the course of the last couple of weeks, but has caused a small rift between the players of the World Cup’s representative nations and the governing body, FIFA.

The vuvuzela is deemed by some players to be far too loud, as they claim that they are unable to communicate with their teammates and their coaches during the matches, to such an extent that the noise made by the traditional African horn is now being used as a common excuse for players who either kick the ball away in anger after the referee has blown his whistle, or for misplaced passes intended for their teammates. Robin van Persie is the latest star to claim that the bee-like noise prevented him from hearing the referee stop play for offside in the Netherland’s Group E opener against Denmark on Monday.

Despite the obvious fact that the vuvuzelas are extremely loud, banning them would be a tragedy on the same scale as the confiscation of all horns during the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies. Just as they are in Africa, the horns were ideal to add to the festival atmosphere in the Caribbean, and is part and parcel of sporting life in that part of the world. The catalyst for such an atmosphere and spirit in Africa is also the use of horns, and other musical instruments, such as drums. The question I’d like to ask is; How many less people would turn out to watch the World Cup games if they were not allowed to create any atmosphere with the use of the vuvuzela?

So far, in the 5 days of tournament that we have watched, the football hasn’t set the world alight. With the exception of Germany and perhaps Argentina, no team has played exhilarating football to the extent that the atmosphere inside the ground has been ferocious anyway. We’ve had a number of extremely dull, and sometimes extremely poor matches, and the grounds haven’t been completely full all of the time. One has to think that the banning of the vuvuzela and other such instruments would hinder the World Cup’s spirit, something that has made the African tournament so special.

The authorities have stated that they will not be banning the vuvuzela, and I firmly hope that they don’t make a u-turn on this decision and potentially ruin one of the most special World Cup tournaments in history.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2010 6:19 pm

    Some may hate it passionately, but for the South Africans it forms part of their tradition, and however disturbing it sounds, we’ll have to bear with the vuvuzela as part of their folklore and as part of the entertainment as well, although sometimes I barely hear the commentators ;) but i personally do enjoy it after a hard day at work

  2. George permalink
    June 16, 2010 8:26 pm

    Not hearing the commentators may not be too much of a bad thing, especially when Mark Lawrenson is on! My god he has no idea what he’s talking about.

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