News / Africa

Noisy Vuvuzelas Cause Concern at World Cup


Steve Schy

The World Cup organizing committee chairman, Danny Jordaan, says South Africa 2010 officials will continue to evaluate whether the plastic horns known as vuvuzelas are affecting play on the field. Players, officials and broadcasters have all complained about the constant din they generate, but FIFA officials say the horns will not be banned.

The vuvuzelas make a loud noise comparable to a huge swarm of bees, and they are blown incessantly by fans throughout the matches. While some have defended the instrument as part of the South Africa World Cup experience, criticism has been almost as loud as the vuvuzela itself.

VOA Sports Editor Parke Brewer is in South Africa to cover the World Cup and spoke about the impact of the vuvuzelas.

"The vuvuzelas were ever-present," Brewer says. "Those are these meter-long plastic horns that the South Africans love to bring to football games and blow them constantly throughout the games. It is a constant buzz and a constant noise you have to deal with. Not just the fans in the stands, but everybody who has been watching the games on television certainly can tell that that is the case."

Christiano Ronaldo, who plays for Portugal and Spanish football club Real Madrid says the noise disturbs the players' concentration. Parke Brewer says others agree that the vuvuzelas cause problems.

"The noise they made and the broadcasters complaining they could hardly hear themselves talk over the noise,' Brewer adds. "In addition to that, of course, it is very difficult for the players and the coaches to get verbal signals to each other. No doubt about it, it affects the game."

Despite the complaints about the plastic horns, Parke Brewer doubts that vuvuzelas will be banned.

"I think FIFA president Sepp Blatter was very adamant last year here at the Confederations Cup when these vuvuzelas were a big talk of the tournament," he said. "It is one of those traditions here in South Africa that I am not sure they are going to take away. I think there would be huge protests across the country if they tried to take away their precious vuvuzelas."

Danny Jordaan says the vuvuzelas are being evaluated on an ongoing basis and that a ban is an option "if there are grounds to do so."  He said he would prefer to have the fans singing or chanting.

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