Leave our vuvuzelas alone!

2009-06-20 00:00

BLOW it for Bafana!

Amid foreign complaints about the noise of SA fans’ vuvuzelas, captain Aaron Mokoena said Bafana need the noise to lift them in tonight’s crucial final Group A match against Spain in Bloemfontein, where a draw will guarantee South Africa a place in the semi-finals.

“We need the vuvuzelas to be blown at their loudest,” Mokoena said. “We really need that kind of passionate support from the fans against Spain.”

Forget low attendances, crime, traffic congestion and the global recession — it is the plastic trumpet-like instrument that has created the controversial headlines in the past few days at the 2009 Confederations Cup.

Emitting a sound that is somewhere between the humming of bees and quacking of a duck, the vuvuzela has created an electric atmosphere in the stadiums at the Confed Cup.

But television broadcasters have asked soccer’s world governing body, Fifa, to ban the tuneless instrument because of complaints from European viewers that the noise is irritating and drowns out the commentary.

And some players have complained too. Spain and Barcelona midfielder Xavi Alonso said: “They make a terrible noise and it’s not a good idea to have them on sale outside the grounds. Here’s a piece of advice for Fifa — try to ban them.”

Brazil striker Robinho said he could not hear instructions from the bench over the noise. His coach, Dunga, was more diplomatic.

“It’s a matter of culture,” Dunga said. “You have to weigh the pros and cons, see if it’s negative or positive.”

Fifa have committed to allowing the vuvuzela in 2010, but have now said they will discuss the matter with the LOC after the Confed.

South African fans have angrily come to the defence of the instrument, and Bafana Bafana’s players have followed suit.

Yesterday defender Matthew Booth said: “It creates a magic atmosphere in the stadium. I’m all for it, as long as they don’t start throwing it at us if we lose.”

Coach Joel Santana also defended the vuvuzela.

“Here it’s normal for the South African people [to use the vuvuzela]. I don’t have any problem with it – if people like it then it’s good for them.

“In the match tomorrow, if it can help the players then it can help the coach and that will be very nice.”

Asked if he had ever blown a vuvuzela himself and, if not, would he blow one in the centre circle if Bafana win tomorrow, Santana replied: “No, I have never tried a vuvuzela. And no, I don’t think I will blow one if we beat Spain. Right now I am concentrating on getting to the semi-finals. But after [winning] the final, maybe I will.”

‘If it can help the players then it can help the coach and that will be very nice.’Joel Santana

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