FIFA won't ban vuvuzelas from World Cup
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Monday, June 14, 2010 9:09PM EDT
FIFA is defending the use of vuvuzelas at World Cup games despite repeated calls from players, broadcasters and even some fans to ban the plastic horns from stadiums.
"I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Monday in a Twitter post. "I don't see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country."
The soccer organization had mulled a ban on the instruments, which first drew complaints more than a year ago at the Confederations Cup.
FIFA now says it won't ban vuvuzelas unless fans throw them on the pitch in anger, reports CTV's Lisa LaFlamme in Capetown.
"They will ban it during the national anthem, they've banned it in shopping malls and other places but they will not ban it because it is such a part of the sporting tradition here," she said Monday.
The instruments' constant hum has so far served as an unofficial soundtrack for the tournament – and become the focus of international frustration.
Broadcasters complain the buzz, often compared to the drone of locusts, drowns out commentary.
Meanwhile, many players have said the sound affects their performance when they need to be at the top of their game.
Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has said the trumpets make it hard to concentrate on the pitch, while France captain Patrice Evra blamed the noise for his team's poor performance against Uruguay.
The vuvuzela, named after the Zulu word for "noise," is considered a symbol of South African heritage, its sound a show of support for the country's team, Bafana Bafana.
Though maddening at times, the ever-present hum "is exciting, it does make you feel a part of it, and it is part of the history here," LaFlamme added.
While many home viewers have resorted to watching with the sound off, those in South Africa have come up with more creative solutions, such as the "plug-o-zela," ear plugs specifically marketed to blocking the horns' din.