FIFA threaten crackdown on vuvuzelas in World Cup games
May 28th, 2010
South African horns could be reduced to makeshift beer bongs
Despite having been around for the best part of two decades, and therefore definitely existing when South Africa submitted their World Cup bid (in fact, Nelson Mandela urged fans to bring them to host nation unveiling in 2004), the vuvuzela, SA’s noisemaker of choice, seems to have caught FIFA completely off guard.
Prior to South Africa’s warm-up friendly with Colombia yesterday, fans were warned the plastic horn was still ‘under review’ and could be banned from the World Cup if too much noise was made during the match. Apparently TV networks have been struggling to cope with the 140db onslaught during broadcasts, while players have complained of not being able to hear their manager, or even each other.
Making a point of not actually referring to vuvuzelas directly, head of the World Cup Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan, warned fans to choose the right moment to make their noise:
If there is an order to evacuate that stadium and an announcement is made, you have to ask yourself, will everyone in that stadium hear that evacuation order?
Jordaan also made it clear the instruments would banned if “one incident of violence [occurs] involving a vuvuzela”. We’re not sure how much damage you can do with a plastic stick, but there you go, the man has spoken.
FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, who deftly avoided questions on whether the orders had been sent from head office, said organisers are considering giving away free earplugs to fans, after ‘legal concerns’.
Vuvuzelas face possible World Cup ban
The musical instruments, an irritant to many football fans around the world, may still be banned from this summer's tournament.
28 May 2010 11:48 GMT
Vuvuzelas face possible World Cup ban
Part of the fabric: Vuvuzelas are a key part of the South African football experience but could yet be banned. Pic: ©Reuters
Vuvuzela’s could yet be banned from this summer’s World Cup after complaints the musical instruments prevent fans from hearing stadium announcements. The CEO of the competition, Danny Jordaan, says the possibility remains for the horns to be prohibited, should those who bring them into grounds blow them excessively.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter insisted earlier this year the horns, which when blown in unison resemble the sound of a swarm of bees, would be allowed at the tournament.
But Jordaan is waiting on feedback from South Africa’s friendly with Colombia on Thursday night before a decision is made on whether to stop supporters from bringing vuvuzelas into stadiums during the World Cup.
Even if they are deemed acceptable in the aftermath of that fixture, Jordaan has also warned a ban could be put in place during the tournament if those with the instruments overstep the mark.
“I think the stadium operations require sometimes the attention of the people in the stadium,” Jordaan said. “For example, if there is an order to evacuate that stadium and an announcement is made, you have to ask yourself, will everyone in that stadium hear that evacuation order?”
Fans around the globe watching Confederations Cup matches last year had complained at the din made by the vuvuzelas, saying they felt compelled to turn down the volume on their televisions.
More importantly, concerns had been raised that refereeing decisions may be missed by players unable to hear the whistle and coaches would be drowned out when trying to communicate with their players during a match.
There is also concern that important announcements made via the public address system would also go unheard because of the noise, which has been recorded to reach levels in excess of 140 decibels.
Fifa president Blatter had earlier said vuvuzelas were as distinguishing a feature to South African football culture as bongo drums and singing were to other countries.