“I think they should be banned. We’re used to people shouting but not to this trumpet noise which doesn’t allow you to concentrate and is unbearable. They make it very difficult for the players to communicate with each other. They are a distraction and do nothing for the atmosphere.” – Xabi Alonso.
The sound cannot have escaped anyone who has tuned in for even one minute of the Confederations Cup in South Africa. The constant tooting of the vuvuzelas is enough to drive any viewer bonkers. And viewers frustrations are quickly boiling over against the most-annoying-sound-in-the-world, with pace gathering for their destruction as worldwide TV audiences lose patience with the din.
On Saturday, the Guardian’s Simon Burton went on the offensive against the horn venting, “it sounds like a platoon of ninja bumblebees with a bad mobile signal have left you a 45-minute answerphone message. Or like your ears have developed the ability to filter out all sound except for that produced by Vespa scooters, to which they have become incredibly sensitive.”
American TV audiences are losing their rag with the horns, as ESPN’s Mike and Mike took their complaints to the airwaves and TVs having also had enough of the “excruciating… constant droning… that never ends. It’s like you’re being attacked by a swarm of locusts for 90 minutes.”
(The ESPN rant can be seen here.)
So, the footballers don’t like them and the TV presenters and audience don’t like them either. So the vuvuzelas will be banned, right?
Not if Sepp Blatter has got anything to do with it. As if pre-destined to always act against the will of the consensus opinion in football, once again the FIFA president has managed to dig his heels into a position that is contrary to the general will.
Said Blatter: “It’s not for Fifa to say stop making noise in football grounds. It is not damaging. If you go to a disco in the night your hearing would be much more challenged. I always said that when we go to South Africa, it is Africa. It’s noisy, it’s energy, rhythm, music, dance, drums. This is Africa. We have to adapt a little.”
As Burton argued though, Blatter’s logic appears flawed. “There was a time when an authentic English footballing experience involved hiding from marauding gangs of booted brutes before paying to stand in a bit of a crush with a close-up view of the back of someone’s head and another man’s urine dripping down the back of your trousers, and I don’t recall Fifa standing up for that.”
Sadly, for now at least, the vuvuzelas appear to be here to stay.
Offering a different perspective on the debate, a local South African report into the vuvuzelas can be seen here.