FIFA threaten crackdown on vuvuzelas in World Cup games

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South African horns could be reduced to makeshift beer bongs


Despite having been around for the best part of two decades, and therefore definitely existing when South Africa submitted their World Cup bid (in fact, Nelson Mandela urged fans to bring them to host nation unveiling in 2004), the vuvuzela, SA’s noisemaker of choice, seems to have caught FIFA completely off guard.

Prior to South Africa‘s warm-up friendly with Colombia yesterday, fans were warned the plastic horn was still ‘under review’ and could be banned from the World Cup if too much noise was made during the match. Apparently TV networks have been struggling to cope with the 140db onslaught during broadcasts, while players have complained of not being able to hear their manager, or even each other.

Making a point of not actually referring to vuvuzelas directly, head of the World Cup Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan, warned fans to choose the right moment to make their noise:

If there is an order to evacuate that stadium and an announcement is made, you have to ask yourself, will everyone in that stadium hear that evacuation order?

Jordaan also made it clear the instruments would banned if “one incident of violence [occurs] involving a vuvuzela”. We’re not sure how much damage you can do with a plastic stick, but there you go, the man has spoken.

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, who deftly avoided questions on whether the orders had been sent from head office, said organizers are considering giving away free earplugs to fans, after ‘legal concerns’.

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