Vuvuzelas to make a comeback at the Commonwealth Games

2010-09-29 14:37

This year’s Commonwealth Games could end up sounding an awful lot like the Fifa World Cup in South Africa.

Vuvuzelas, the long plastic horns that created a constant din – and plenty of debate – at this year’s event are on sale in New Delhi, and they have been selling steadily ahead of the October 3-14 Games.

“There is a lot of demand for the vuvuzela, a lot of demand,” said Suresh Kumar, chairperson of Premier Brands, the Indian company in charge of merchandising for the Games.

 “We have sold more than 12 000 pieces.”

Loved by some and despised by others, the vuvuzela was a constant topic of conversation in South Africa.

While South African football fans embraced the atmosphere it created at soccer matches across the country, many broadcasters and viewers from abroad complained that the drone disrupted the enjoyment of watching games on TV.

The debate hasn’t deterred the Games’ organisers in the Indian capital, where 50 000 vuvuzelas were imported from China for the event.

There was no plan at this stage to bring in more, even though the plastic horns were the second-best selling product behind T-shirts, Kumar said.

Even Indian sports minister MS Gill got in on the act today.

Standing next to the Games’ organising committee chairperson, Suresh Kalmadi, he blew his horn at the athletes’ village.

Because of the sounds that emanated from the World Cup, several English Premier League clubs and even Wimbledon banned fans from using vuvuzelas at their venues. Uefa has also banned them from its European football competitions.

The Games may not cause as much of an uproar for viewers overseas.

However, Indian tourism minister Kumari Selja said yesterday that only 200 000 of the 1.7 million tickets for the Games had been sold.

The vuvuzelas are selling for 250 rupees (R39) and will be available at all competition venues and in some areas of the city, including the airport and train stations.

They can also be bought online and from mobile stores that will visit schools and major residential areas.

Organisers hope the relatively inexpensive price – inexpensive for foreigners, anyway – will help sales.

“This will enable everybody to own a piece of the Games,” the organising committee said on its website.

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