The mind-numbing cacophony of South Africa World Cup 2010

I’m a huge football fan. HUGE. One of the things that I absolutely love about the game, apart from watching 22 hot men chase a ball across the field ;), is the joyous celebration by fans. Their chanting, cheering, moans, groans and funky costumes are what first drew me to the game. It was fascinating to my 10-year-old eyes. I would laugh and clap and cheer along with those fans, without, at that time, really understand what the game was all about. Of course, as I grew older, my father initiated me into the rules of the game, and since then, I’ve awaited the FIFA World Cup like a fanatic. While I do occasionally get my fix with the English Premier League, FA Cup, Euro Cup, etc., the World Cup is a totally different rush!

So, I’ve been counting the days to 11 June, and five days into World Cup fever, and my ears are begging for mercy…for relief…for deliverance…from the mind-numbing buzzing that is heard around the stadium — the sound of a million vuvzelas.

I think it takes away a lot from the game when you can’t hear cheering and chanting fans. And I really wonder how the fans at the stadium are able to stand the noise, and how in heaven’s name are the players able to concentrate on the game?

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo was the latest World Cup star to voice unease about the trumpet, telling reporters that it affected players’ focus. ‘It is difficult for anyone on the pitch to concentrate,’ the Real Madrid star told a press conference. France captain Patrice Evra has blamed the noise for waking the team in their hotel and stopping the players from hearing each other on the pitch. And Argentina’s Lionel Messi complained they made it impossible for players to communicate on the pitch.

So, is there any chance of the vuvuzela being banned? Unfortunately, it appears not.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, through a twitter posting, said:

“I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound. I don’t see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country.”

And the vuvuzela certainly is central to the football culture in South Africa, with fans comparing it to the chanting, singing — even the wave — done in other countries.

The darn instrument is also gaining a fan following in other parts of the world.

Football fans in Britain are buying vuvuzelas at a rate of one every two seconds. Sainsbury’s sold 22,000 red vuvuzelas in 12 hours before England’s game – one every two seconds. And online retailer Amazon said sales of the horn had increased by 1,000 per cent.

And for those who can’t get hold of a real vuvuzela, there are now virtual versions available at Apple’s iTunes store!

There are around 11 vuvuzela apps available from Apple’s App Store. One named ‘Vuvuzela 2010’ has been downloaded more than 750,000 times, and is currently the most popular free app in the entertainment category, while another, Virtual Vuvuzela, is the seventh most popular free sports app.

So though a large section of fans may complain about the instrument, it looks like the buzzing of the vuvuzela is here to stay.

(Quotes and image from

Posted in Opinion pieces, Scrambled Thoughts and tagged , , , , .


  1. Yeah, it sounds like a gazillion bees hovering around the stadium. And I don’t agree with Blatter because Africa’s music tradition is much more than a cheap plastic horn made in China.

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