Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vuvuzela a 'Global Synonym for Mood Killer'

The plastic 'vuvuzela' trumpets so popular with South African football fans at the World Cup are causing considerable debate abroad. Players, officials and viewers have been critical and, after only three days, some are calling for a ban. German commentators say the debate is a sign of deeper cultural issues at play.

One of the biggest controversies of the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa so far focuses on the South African fans' cheerleading instrument of choice -- the vuvuzela. The vuvuzela is a plastic trumpet, around a meter (about three feet) in length, that costs 20 South African rand (€2.10, $2.50) and makes a noise that has been described as everything from a giant swarm of bees to an elephant in distress to a terrific, tuneless din and "stadium tinnitus."

After only three days of World Cup games, international players in South Africa are already complaining about the trumpet, which has been a regular facet at the country's football stadiums since the 1990s. Players on the French national team say the noise keeps them from sleeping -- the horns start at dawn -- and that they cannot hear one another while on the field. Other players, including Argentinian team captain Javier Mascherano, have echoed those complaints. And at a press conference, Portugal's superstar Cristiano Ronaldo agreed, saying: "It is difficult for anyone on the pitch to concentrate." Finally, the president of the Japanese football association called the vuvuzela noise "unbearable."

Other criticisms of the vuvuzela include the fact that no other noise, like the sound of national anthems, can be heard above their drone, and that they ruin the atmosphere.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,700588,00.html

Source photo: www.kapstadt.org

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