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Page last updated at 12:23 GMT, Monday, 14 June 2010 13:23 UK

World Cup 2010: Organisers will not ban vuvuzelas


Vuvuzelas set to remain at World Cup

World Cup organisers say they will not ban vuvuzelas from stadiums in South Africa, despite numerous complaints.

The sound of the plastic horn has been likened to the drone of a thousand bees or a herd of stampeding elephants.

Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo says the noise affects player concentration, while some fans watching on television claim they cannot hear the commentary.

But a World Cup spokesman insisted vuvuzelas are "ingrained in the history of South Africa" and will remain.

Rich Mkhondo also said vuvuzelas had worldwide appeal.

"Let us not make this a South Africa instrument alone," he said. "A vuvuzela is now an international instrument. People buy them and stuff them in their suitcase to go home.

"Only a minority are against vuvuzelas. You either love them or hate. We in South Africa love them."

England defender Jamie Carragher said the noise did not bother him when he came on as a half-time substitute during the 1-1 draw with the United States and he said he had already bought two to take home to his children in Liverpool.

I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound

Fifa president Sepp Blatter

"When I came on I didn't notice it too much. I think you notice it more when you are watching on TV," he said.

"But my kids have been on the phone and asked for two so I'll have to take two home for them. I've got two in my bag already.

"Anyone who watches me play at Anfield will know that I am louder than the vuvuzelas!"

Fifa president Sepp Blatter also weighed into the debate and believes vuvuzelas are part and parcel of football in South Africa.

"I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound," he commented on social networking site Twitter.

"I don't see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country. Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country?"

A recent survey found that the sound emitted by a vuvuzela was the equivalent to 127 decibels - louder than a drum's 122 decibels or a referee's whistle at 121.8 decibels.

Carragher admits vuvuzelas purchase

Portugal star Ronaldo is the latest World Cup star to voice unease about the instrument.

"It is difficult for anyone on the pitch to concentrate," said the Real Madrid forward. "A lot of players don't like them but they are going to have to get used to them."

France captain Patrice Evra blamed the noise generated by the vuvuzelas for his side's poor showing in their opening group game against Uruguay, which finished goalless.

He added: "We can't sleep at night because of the vuvuzelas. People start playing them from 6am.

"We can't hear one another out on the pitch because of them."

Backing for the under-fire vuvuzela has come from the England Supporters' Band, which has not missed an England game - home or away - since 1996.

Trumpeter John Hemmingham, who is leading an eight-man team in South Africa, said the plastic instruments were part of the local culture and should not be banned from stadiums.

BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener

"It's the way the South Africans express their joy and pleasure at the tournament being here," said Hemmingham. "It's certainly a challenge for us but there's no point whinging about it."

Some people have complained the noise from the vuvuzelas has stopped fans from generating chants around the ground.

But Hemmingham, who was at Saturday's game between England and the United States in Rustenburg, revealed: "We didn't have any problem.

"The fans around us were all singing along and a lot of our fans were joining in with us using their vuvuzelas. It all added to the atmosphere.

"There was definitely a different vibe about the place - the South Africans are loving it - and when in Rome, you just have to go along with it.

"I bet there is not a single South African player complaining about the vuvuzela. They see it as more than just a noise, it's about the whole spirit of the thing."

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see also
Team tracker and Predictor
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15 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
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05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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