Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Great Vuvuzela debate: Should Fifa Ban the Vuvuzela?

The Fifa Confederations Cup has gotten off to a great start and despite what many may have thought we have shown that we are capable of hosting one of Fifa’s biggest tournaments. There were concerns about safety and transport ahead of the tournament but so far the only real ‘problem’ has been the Vuvuzela.

International viewers have been complaining about the noise that these Vuvuzela’s make at the games and have started calling on World Football governing body, Fifa to ban them.

I think this will be a HUGE mistake from Fifa, as the Vuvuzela is part of our local soccer culture. If you have ever watched or attended a local soccer match you will have seen the infamous Vuvuzela in action. Critics are saying they are too noisy. I say so what? That is the purpose of the Vuvuzela after all. It is there to get the atmosphere buzzzzing. This is Africa and we are renowned for dancing and singing and generally creating a great vibe at our football matches.
It’s all part of the uniquely South African experience and I’m certain that if our foreign visitors attend the games and experience the electrifying atmosphere they will fall in love with the Vuvuzela.

To me asking the local supporters to leave their Vuvuzela’s at home would be like asking the Liverpool fans not to sing You'll Never Walk Alone, or asking the Brazilian fans not to create the Samba atmosphere at their matches. The World Cup will be held in South Africa so surely people will want to get the South African experience?

Fifa’s English commentators certainly seem to enjoy the festive atmosphere at the stadiums with not one of them having complained about the Vuvuzela.

Sepp Blatter told reporters yesterday that the Vuvuzela will not be banned at the 2010 World Cup, and I for one hope that the Fifa President will stick to his promise. What is your opinion on the Vuvuzela?

Should Fifa ban them or are they part of the uniquely African experience?


  1. The problem with the vuvuzelas, apart from being a gawdawful racket, is that they drown out the reactions of the real fans who are actually watching the action on the pitch. They just make a constant drone that has nothing to do with the progress of the game. I don't know how the players can hear each other in an atmosphere like that.

    If that is the only culture South Africa has to share, that is pretty bad. Whatever happened to dancing and singing and costumes? Seems to work for other countries just fine. Don't let your only contribution to the world be an almost universally annoying one!

    It's a question of hospitality too. Blasting noise in our ears is just plain rude. I for one am turning the sound off. I feel sorry for anyone travelling to SA to watch the games. They have no choice in the matter.

  2. I Agree Islandbookworm!!!! Even watching the match on TV is an annoyance without the mute on!!

  3. @ Anonymous
    This shouldn't really be a problem. I'm sure it is possible for Fifa to lower the "stadium noise-to-commentator voice" ratio.

    So if they manage to reduce the sound of the vuvuzela on the broadcast, the TV viewers who complain about it should be happy?

  4. @islandbookworm
    The REAL fans are the ones with the vuvuzela. You may be seeing full stadiums now but its a different matter at our local games. The REAL fans who attend local soccer games are in fact the ones with the vuvuzela's.

    Is it really fair to expect these fans now to abondon their South African soccer culture because there are visitors coming?

    There is so much more to South African soccer culture than the vuvuzela but a common misconception now is that all we do is blow a vuvuzela for 90 minutes non-stop. There's dancing, theres singing and clapping. And There are LOTS of costumes.

  5. Interesting comments about the Vuvuzela, first of all let me take the opportunity to welcome our visitors to the South African soccer family. Secondly allow me to explain one of the cultures in this family, at every soccer match be it Chiefs and Pirates or Dynamos and Black Aces, we blow vuvuzela's. Now, what one is offended by is when visitors come into your family and want to change your culture to suite them. I can never and will never go to a cricket or rugby match and tell seasional supporters there what to do to accomodate me as a first timer.

    Its rude, inconsiderate and plain arrogance. In our family, we love the vuvuzela and we shall continue to blow it for as long as we go to watch South African soccer and seek to invoke the South African spirit and feel at a soccer match. If you feel offended im sorry, but do not expect me to change who i am to accomodate you, it does not work like that.

    Respect me and i shall respect you.

  6. I plan on attending SA2010 from Atlanta, GA. I agree that the vuvuzela creates an "interesting" vibe at the game. It does not seem so annoying when you are dancing around and having a good time.

    But it translates aweful to TV. I cannot imagine a more annoying sound and a bigger turn off to viewers who dont appreciate it (and I cannot blame them). They will simply turn it off. This could potentially be the least watched WC in recent history because of this silly plastic trumpet. My wife loves soccer, but she cannot sit through a complete match because of this sound.

    I would seriously hate for SA's contribution and world reputation be severely tarnished because of the vuvuzela.

    The argument the blogger is making about comparing Liverpool songs and Brazil's samba atmosphere borders on retarded. I would certainly ask a Liverpool fan to stop if they just screamed one note of YWNWA in my ear for an hour and a half. There is a big difference between an annoying swarm of bees buzzing around your head a samba dance.

  7. I tend to agree that I hate the sound of the Vuvuzela on TV. That said though, I suspect that the vibe will be completely different when you are at the pitch itself. So... I say, give the benefit of the doubt to the local supporters. It would be a shame to tell them what they can and cannot do at 'their' first World Cup.

  8. Use #ban_the_vuvuzela in your Twitter messages and make it a trending topic!

  9. How is South Africa telling the world that they are football visitors? Visitors to the country yes. Visitors to football? Don't make me laugh. This is not South African football next year. It's world football in South Africa. You won't be watching your local teams or players.
    We've seen this horn thing before as air horns, clackers, etc. Usually used by young children constantly who aren't watching the match. Usually ends in a justified clip round the head.
    On the other hand Scouse fans are a drone to me also.

  10. I dont even know how to blow this vuvuzela, but hey, ti shoyuld not be banned. Just because some earopeans are making noise about our noisy vuvuzela is not enough for them to be banned.

  11. It is a loud and constant annoying sound that never stops a minute, not a celebration of a goal, not encouraging your team at times, not celebrating a wonderful feat of your team, just a silly constant blowing like a small child would do. That kind of constant sound its unfantomable, and a lack of respect for professional players, maybe in southafrica players are deaf and comunicate by signs, but for others it is just plain torture. Cultural contribution? silly excuses.

  12. There is a time and place for everything...For example do a repertoire:

    1. Everybody in the stadium blow on the vuvuzela's for a short time after a goal or some sort of light is shown in the stadium, but not all the time!!

    2. Then, when not blowing on the Vuvu, sings 5 or so different songs or have maybe 3 or so unique crowd movements – also announced by some stadium light!!

    But please sing "Ole ole ole ole…" only 2 times during a match…Don’t know which one is worse: the constant mosquito sound of the Vuvu’s or the one and only “ole ole ole…” song we still cling on to since the ‘95 rugby world cup!!

    Come on SA, we are much more imaginative and original than this!!

    The main objective I think of the SWC 2010 is for the visitors to return after the tournament, not to chase them away!!

  13. Funny thing is that none of you that are complaining about Vuvuzelas have ever been in SA, in fact I even doubt you've attanded a football match before.

    Oh and BTW the South Africans that are complaining are the group that only watch football when top European teams are here.

    Vuvuzelas are loud but your yelling about it wont change a thing, get used to it or press the mute button...

  14. this vuvuzela controversy just goes to show how intolerant people still are today. nobody complains when a bunch of drunk European dudes dance half naked, curse @ anything that moves, sing horrible music in the stands, and create a nuisance. no but the moment Africans blow on a trumpet, all hell breaks lose. what pisses me off are the lost souls that want the trumpets banned. this trumpet is what creates the atmosphere in SA football. u have no right to sit in ur homes and deny the locals a means by which they can enjoy the games. hopefully FIFA does not give in so its up to you to adapt to the "noise" or mute ur TVs.

  15. "Critics are saying they are too noisy. I say so what? That is the purpose of the Vuvuzela after all."

    Um, have you ever heard of a tautology? Or begging the question?

    "... I’m certain that if our foreign visitors attend the games and experience the electrifying atmosphere they will fall in love with the Vuvuzela."

    This isn't about foreign visitors. It's about the billions of people watching on television around the world. Be thoughtful. Have some consideration for them.

    Honestly: Do you understand what is going on here? A few people in a few stadiums are poised to destroy the World Cup -- the WORLD FRIKKING CUP -- for everybody.

    "So if they manage to reduce the sound of the vuvuzela on the broadcast, the TV viewers who complain about it should be happy?"

    No. We don't want the crowd noise "reduced." We want to hear the crowd, because it provides drama for the match. Right now, the vuvuzelas are blocking that out completely. It's ruining the matches on television.

    "Is it really fair to expect these fans now to abondon their South African soccer culture because there are visitors coming?"

    Yes, it's fair. This isn't your tournament, and these certainly aren't YOUR teams. You have one team in the World Cup. Blow your vuvuzelas there all you want. Leave the rest of the tournament alone. It's not yours. It's definitely not yours to ruin for everybody.

    It should be clear to you that there is an enormous backlash building around the globe about this. It's happening very quickly, like wildfire this week. Thank God for the Confederations Cup. It gave the world a helpful alert about vuvuzelas, and gives us enough time to get them banned from the World Cup.

    And they WILL get banned. You can sit here on this site and blather on all you want about "customs" and "culture." But it won't make any difference in the end. If you think everyone is going to sit by and let the World Cup be destroyed, you're insane. There is FAR too much money, time and attention tied up in this event to let that happen.

  16. And they WILL get banned. You can sit here on this site and blather on all you want about "customs" and "culture." But it won't make any difference in the end.

    Who died and made you Fifa President?
    Typical of arrogant Americans who have no respect for other peoples cultures.

    I guess the South Africans have to be good slaves and have a European World Cup for their masters. In Africa nogals

  17. "Who died and made you Fifa President?"

    Nobody. I just know that there's a massive backlash building around the world toward the vuvuzelas. All you have to do is hop around the web for a few minutes. It doesn't take a genius to see that people are very, very upset about this, and that there will be enormous pressure to keep the horns away from the World Cup.

    It also doesn't take a genius to realize that there are broadcasters and football associations with billions of dollars tied up in the event. There is simply no way they are going to let the thing be ruined by a single noise that can be easily eliminated.

  18. Thanks for all the comments guys, but let's try and keep the discussion civilized.

    Any 'inappropriate' comments will be deleted.

  19. I agree. There's no reason this can't be a civil discussion.

    In the end, we all want the same thing here: a great World Cup. We just need to talk our way through all this like human beings, to reach that shared goal.

  20. People also need to realise that there wont be as many South African supporters at the World Cup games. At the moment it looks like it's 95% SA supporters at the stadium.

    World Cup will be a different story due to the ticket prices and demand from overseas fans. Which in theory should lead to less noise from the vuvu's...

  21. That is a good point.

    I think if you asked most viewers, they would say they don't hate the vuvuzelas in and of themselves. Most people just dislike that it blocks out all the other audience sounds, like the roar after a goal and so on.

  22. Looks like Fifa has banned the vuvuzela ...from being sold at Stadiums

  23. This main argument of this blog has quite ironical, especially if you consider the origin of the vuvuzela.

    Have a look at what Andrew from blatant says about them:

    Quite harsh, but I have to say, I agree totally.

  24. Here's another blog post from a soccer fan(which I doubt Andrew is)

  25. Come on guys, vuvuzela is African,it's unique and is great. It creates excitement and atmosphere to the beautiful game of football in Africa. My suggestions is the following, get yourself ear plugs from the chemist or buy a mini scan radio and listen to the commentary on radio 2000 .What a test for TV media boffins ? Alternatively the authorities control it like a traffic light, red - stop (noise), green -go.

  26. This thing causes phsyical pain to me. I have a headache after watching two games this week. It drowns out all other crowd noise, meaning no other traditional trants or cheers will be heard in the stands. I think it speaks poorly of South Africa as a host that they value this tradition more than the comfort and enjoyment of their guests. It used to be a tradition to smoke cigars in the stands of my local ballteam, but no more. Sometimes, consideration and respect for others outweighs custom.

  27. Currently watching the finals between USA and Brazil. My question to FIFA is simple: Do you want more international soccer fans or less? I guarantee that allowing vuvuzelas on televised matches will result in significantly less viewers. Personally, I'm turning off the sound for the rest of the match.

  28. I am all for Africa showing their culture in 2010, but I had to watch the second half of the cc final with the sound of. Honestly, I am not trying to be a jerk or disrespect south africa, but there is a million ways that they could show their culture without annoying the rest of the world to this extent.


  30. It is not a soccer culture, how the hell can it be a culture to blow on a monotonous sounding plastic horn? The vuvuzela was originally invented in the states and has nothing to do with "South African Culture", although it has been an adopted statement that its a culture. If there was perhaps a better screening process for the use of such an "instrument" such as perhaps upon the scoring of a goal everyone can go ape with a vuvuzela people would not complain. But consistantly using the thing without any purpose other than just making a damn noise is a pathetic disgrace to South Africa! Granted it's fun, and granted it's a cheap and effective item to use, I just feel the timing is the problem, if, as i said above, we only used such a thing at the correct times such as scoring a goal, it would make more sense. But again, this is my personal opinion, please if I offended anyone, understand that I am only voicing my side.

  31. let there be vuvuzelas!!......i love south africa and i am french

  32. Yes the horns are really annoying. Every match will not be as exciting and well played because the players can't concentrate and communicate with each other because of a cheap ass stupid horn! But yes the main reason is because you cant hear the reactions of the real fans. I was looking forward to the world cup but not so much anymore.
    Nothing but a pain in the ass and a putting off of people from the beautiful game of football.

  33. This is going to be the most annoying world cup because of this garbage. I hope all vuvuzela's are made in china and are contaminated with toxic materials, especially around the mouth piece

  34. they need to ban it - its so annoying and you miss out on the sound of the game

  35. Vuvuzelas guarantee that no world cup should take part in Africa. It is a torture for all of football lovers who watch matches on TV. I cannot put up with the loud braying noise, it should be strictly banned to enter into the stadiums AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

  36. Vuvuzelas take precedence of football, but we want to watch and hear football. vuvuzelas are making too annoying noise. At the end of the cup, nothing about football will be remembered but vuvuzelas. It must be BANNED. It is the instrument of disrespectfulness to all people!!!!!

  37. what a waste of a world cup, i really hope they will not let these retards into the stadiums during elimination rounds. Im a retard look at me blow my trumpet because i am too stupid to do anything more creative.

  38. YES YES YES BAN IT !!!!


  40. This is just a very annoying noise ruining every fun watchting the soccer games. I am sorry, that might be South African soccer culture, but its the WORLD cup, people around the world are watching and they dont want to watch the games with a muted TV only. It just horrible.

  41. The hideous drone has no relevance to what is going on in the game and is completely drowning out the atmosphere created by the crowd noises that follow the ebb and flow of events on the pitch. It is anti atmosphere.

    This stupid horn is destroying the World Cup which belongs to everyone, not just SA and they are being very poor hosts by annoying their guests like this.

  42. I`ve given up on the World Cup due to these damn things.If there is an exciting game then I`ll just watch the edited highlights...if I can bear it..!
    Such a pity...

  43. Yeah, well I personally don't give a shit about your "culture". I generate money for FIFA by watching the matches on TV. FIFA should do its best to accommodate viewers like me, while South Africans should just shut the fuck up and enjoy the privilege of hosting the World Cup.

    The World Cup is a sport event enjoyed by billions around the world, it's a platform for football, not for your weird ass vuvuzela "culture".

    Fucking Sepp Blatter wants to destroy this game with his exaggerated multicultural shit.

  44. It's not that the vuvizela is loud. I've been to other sports where the crowd uses horns and it certainly adds something fun to the atmosphere.

    The problem is that it is CONSTANT!

    Shut up already! If u give a child a toy trumpet an he just starts makin constant noise you tell him to stop. Doesn't anyone understand moderation? When there's a goal, blow it.

    I see people comment on how SA has such rich culture. The vuvizela is a terrible example of that! Where is the poly-rhythm, the syncopation, call and response. There is nothig about it that exemplifies the incredible art and music that comes from this country.

    The only thing the vuvizela seems to be exemplifyig is the crowds inability to not act like annoying children! Don't ban the vuvizela, ban the children who don't know how to play it!


  45. There's just TOO MANY of them... nothing wrong with a bit of balanced crowd noise, like compressed air horns, klaxons, England's brass band, singing, chanting, etc.

    It's just when EVERYTHING is swamped by a continual drone that the vuvuzela becomes daft.

  46. its so sad that up to today,racism is still deep rooted in most of the people from the west! check your comments!"I hope all vuvuzela's are made in china and are contaminated with toxic materials, especially around the mouth piece"CAN SOME ONE SENSIBLE SAY THAT UN LESS YOU ARE A COMPLETE GOON?WHO ARE YOU TO WISH OTHERS DEATH? I FIND RACISM A VERY PRIMITIVE THING IN THIS CENTURY.

  47. annoyed football fan in londonJune 14, 2010 at 6:42 AM

    look, we cant all go to SA, the large majority of us have to contend with watching the games on TV. For many people, me amongst them, the highlight of an otherwise shitty year.

    this isnt about racism, it is just a bunch of regular people wanting to race home after a crap day at work & watch their team play someone elses team & emmerse themselves in the atmosphere & excitment of it all for 2 hours.

    if you have watch the game with the sound turned off the atmosphere is hindered. you may as well read the match report in the next days newspaper for all the excitment generated by a soundless TV farce.

    if FIFA wont, or cant ban the bloody horns then at least devise some method of digitally removing the excrutiatingly irritating monotonous drone from OUR game.

    the world is watching these games, not just some south africans with vested interest. give the rest of us a break will you.

  48. Fed up of buzzing in earsJune 14, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    If the best that SA can offer now is the drowning out of all things human by an annoying and constant drone of plastic trumpets then i feel sorry for them. Yes it might be part of their culture but while the eyes of the world are on their nation during the World Cup and there have been as many critisisms of this practice as there have been maybe they would like to acknowledge that it IS a problem for those watching matches on television or radio instead of just replying with "well thats how we do it and tough luck" It shows little respect to the thousands of viewers around the world who are doing their best to join in the festivities and either having to put the mute on or skip the footie altogether in fear of their sanity simply because we arent South African and arent used to this practice. Do it on your own games, leave the trumpets at home during the others and i'll happily not watch any game the SA are playing in.

  49. vuvuzelas make a horrible racket and they add nothing at all to football. I CAN'T HEAR THE SONGS which are so much more enjoyable to listen to than the infinite droning buzz. I if I paid good money to go to a sporting match and someone blew a plastic horn in my ear the whole time I would feed them knuckle sandwiches until they sang a different tune. nothing against yer culture, SA, but if this is what makes football good for you then you should start attending car races or tennis competitions. I hope FIFA bans them for all future world cups

  50. After reading the explanations of the southafrican football "lovers" I just can thank you for ruining, in a big part, the party for EVERYBODY BUT YOU.
    I hope you don't have the chance to organize a WORLD event like this anymore but I wish that you can go on having fun with the vuvuzelas in your local matches. Of course, I won't ever watch them.

  51. I was going to write something intelligent, but I am so angry at these foolish savages and their idiot horns ruining the experience for everybody; 120+ dB damages hearing- one must be a fool or a child to willing risk permanent hearing damage and only SAVAGES would try to hurt those unfortunate to be beside them. Sure, in other countries fans make annoying noises, but none of their noise-makers generate 120 dB. These pieces of crap even ruin the game on tv. I'd just like to say thank you to the South African retards that force such garbage upon their guests and the rest of the world- you guys are awesome hosts- perhaps one day your culture will grow up and you'll realize that the only people who should be using these horns are destitute beggars trying to annoy tourists into throwing them a coin or two to shut up...

  52. Just watched the game today. I lasted 25 minutes and it was awful... Then I switched to other channel and my family said - THANK GOD this sick noise is gone. SO much for trumpets. If south Africa wants to annoy the whole world so be it. But trust me when I say - this is really bad and it does not make me respect your culture - just makes me change the channel. South Africans - please ban it now. This is only opinion from a person that loves the game. I will most likely only watch couple of my favorite teams play and possibly World Cup final. ON MUTE :-) Cheers, D

  53. The football is about the spectators reacting to the game and influencing the game (ie singing and cheering) Vuvuzela is the biggest POS i have ever seen and it should be banned. It kills the game. If South Africans like it so much then get MP3 player for all 11 players and let them listen to the noise, it may help thm win more, and i hope it does help them.
    Every country/continent has its own cultural phenomenon that does not physically impact the players as vuvuzelas do, they are plainly painful to the ears. If that is the competitive edge Africans are looking for than it's sad day for football.

  54. Well I won't be watching anymore of this World Cup until they ban those terrible POS horns. African culture, hahahahahaha, don't make me laugh. So it is African culture to be disrespectful, rude, loud, overbearing and childish. Actually, sounds about right.
    See ya WC, guess I'll have to wait another 4 years for the Brazilians to show everyone how you're supposed to cheer at a game. Thank goodness I don't like soccer that much anyway.

  55. Typical South African football chants:
    Goal scored: "Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"
    Opponents score: "Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"
    Bad call made: "Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"
    Free kick from a good position: "Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"
    Absolutely nothing happening: "Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

    LOL you guys suck.

  56. This is the first and the last South African World Cup... The World will never forget this fucking retarded so called "soccer culture", and the future FIFA Boards together with all stakeholders will not make the same mistake... All the people I talked to, during the CONF Cup last year, were concerned about this imbecility. I live in Melbourne, Australia and every single football fan I know, no matter their ethnic backgroud, will be happy to shove a vuvuzela up Sepp Blatter's ass !

  57. The vuvuzela is nothing but a plastic toy made in China. It's a fad, it's not South African and deserves to be banned. It was initially used in the last part of games to 'finish off' the opposition - good idea I say! But somehow, this device was being used during entire games during the Confederations Cup, their first international tournament, and no-one liked them then. However Coca-Cola talked them up as being part of the "South African culture and experience", and only those profiting from them defend their blanketed use. FIFA are held hostage by the sponsors and won't ban them.

    Unfortunately, the over-use of the vuvuzela denies fans of each country to cheer and be heard in their own, unique way. When South Africa plays - by all means I wish South African fans blow them as long and hard as they like. But I also wish to hear a Brazilian samba, Nigerian songs and English chants, etc.

    To South Africans, please understand that all this opposition to the vuvuzela has nothing to do with ethnocentrism - it has to do with the unnecessary assault to our senses!

    After this tournament, everyone should boycott Coca-Cola and then go to Sepp Blatter's house and blow vuvuzelas for a month...see how he likes it.

  58. These South Africans are uncultured if all they have is Vuvuzelas to celebrate with, FIFA was ridiculous to think that a World Cup hosted in 3rd World High Crime Country with no security is going to impress the fans , FIFA should sanction the South Africans for destroying Soccer as we in the cultured world know it

  59. If any world event is held in Southern Africa or even Africa I will boycott every sponsor because of these noise polluting instruments, I strongly suggest that South Africa FIFA and all World Cup 2010 Sponsors be boycotted to show that we as fans deserve better ( Im in South Africa, Johannesburg ) Sold my remaining tickets to head home without a single World Cup item, I will never support arrogance and annoying people, And I stopped all my monthly Dollar contributions to Africa ( The African Nation Is buying Vuvuzelas with our Charity money ) instead of welcoming a visitor they chased one away ( Ban the vuvuzelas or risk world sanctions South Africa )

  60. I personally would love to shove a Vuvuzela up the ass of every south african prick blowing that shit, and Sepp Blatters ass

  61. I pledge never to Watch South African Football Ever Agan, Even if they come to play overseas I will never attend a match with the likes of these hooligans, Sanction the SA soccer Team and lets all enjoy the game again- Ex-South African Fan

  62. Dear : South Africa

    Please SHUT THE FUCK UP im going crazy with that vuvu shit get AIDS & die before the next World Cup, PLEASE

  63. loser nation Fuck South Africa

  64. Vuvuzelas are here to stay LOVE IT OR HATE IT, Sepp Blatter said this. hahahahahahahahahaha. to all the vuvuzela haters go play in traffic. this is africa's time. Anonymous the Vuvuzela is going down your stinking rotten european ass. FUCK U MAN

  65. if this is your culture, south africans are uncultured idiots who should still live in mudhouses

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