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Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:02 UK

Wimbledon crackdown on vuvuzelas

By Chris Summers

South Africans fans blowing vuvuzelas
The popularity of vuvuzelas is spreading globally

Tennis fans have been banned from bringing vuvuzelas to Wimbledon.

The plastic horns, popular with football fans at the football World Cup in South Africa, have been selling fast across Britain in the last week.

But the All England Club has insisted they would be banned, adding: "The message is not to bring them.

"We have a list of prohibited items, including rattles and klaxons and vuvuzelas will fall into that category so the message is not to bring them."

There are fears the horns could spoil other summer showpieces like rowing's Henley Royal Regatta and cricket's Test series against Pakistan.

And a spokesman for Henley Royal Regatta added: "We would not permit whistles, horns, trumpets, pianos, vuvuzelas, drums or any other such instrument within the enclosures or the boat tent area."

The England and Wales Cricket Board has said that each Test venue would be able to decide its policy on which items could be admitted.

A spokesman for Trent Bridge, the venue for the first Test between England and Pakistan starting on 29 July, commented: "We had a few at the ground last night for the Twenty20 match. They are not on our banned list and we don't see them causing a problem.


"We might look at it again nearer to the Test match. They are slowly catching on but they are nowhere near as widespread as in South Africa."

Retailers across the country have sold tens of thousands of England-branded horns, which could prove as popular with other fans as they have been with football fans.

The horns are ubiquitous in South Africa but have led to widespread criticism from both players and armchair fans, who say they are tuneless and block out singing or chanting.

But a Premier League spokesman said: "Nothing in our rules specifically prohibits musical instruments from being brought into grounds as such matters are dealt with at club level.

"It will be down to stadium managers, in consultation with supporter groups, to determine what is appropriate."

In Scotland a politician has called for them to be banned from football grounds.

Margo MacDonald MSP, who is a Hibernian fan, stated: "As well as being really annoying, there is also a possible health and safety aspect, given the noise they make."

But a spokesman for the Scottish Premier League added: "Our stance is that we don't have any specific rules on musical instruments or vuvuzelas. It's not something we plan to review. It's up to each club whether they want to allow them into their grounds."

Boris Johnson in South Africa
Boris Johnson bemoaned the "monotonous whine"

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is in South Africa to learn lessons on hosting a major sporting event ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games, has questioned the vuvuzela's appeal.

Johnson, who is part of England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup finals, told reporters: "It has many attractions. It's a great way of expressing yourself in a loud, vehement, parping kind of way.

"I wonder whether collectively it doesn't actually detract from the game.

"It just produces a slightly monotone whine doesn't it? And I think maybe that's not the effect we're going to want to see in 2012."

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see also
Murray to face Hajek at Wimbledon
18 Jun 10 |  Tennis
10 things about the vuvuzela
15 Jun 10 |  Africa
Call for Scots ban on vuvuzelas
15 Jun 10 |  Scotland
BBC gets 545 vuvuzela complaints
15 Jun 10 |  Entertainment
Cup chiefs rule out vuvuzela ban
14 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010

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