BERNE - Vuvuzelas have been kicked out of
European competitions after UEFA said that the controversial
plastic trumpets drowned out supporters and detracted from the
emotion of the game.
The plastic horns became a hallmark of the World Cup in
South Africa, producing a monotonous droning sound, often
likened to a swarm of bees, which provided a backdrop for every
But they will not be allowed in stadiums in UEFA
competitions such as the Champions League, Europa League and
Euro 2012 qualifiers after UEFA's ruling on Wednesday.
"European football's governing body has informed its 53
member associations that it has taken the move for reasons
related to Europe's football culture and tradition, saying that
the atmosphere at matches would be changed by the sound of the
vuvuzela," said UEFA in a statement.
"The World Cup was characterised by the vuvuzela's
widespread and permanent use in the stands," it added.
"In the specific context of South Africa, the vuvuzela adds
a touch of local flavour and folklore, but UEFA feels that the
instrument's widespread use would not be appropriate in Europe,
where a continuous loud background noise would be emphasised."
The statement then continued with a clear criticism of the
"The magic of football consists of the two-way exchange of
emotions between the pitch and the stands, where the public can
transmit a full range of feelings to the players.
"However, UEFA is of the view that the vuvuzelas would
completely change the atmosphere, drowning supporter emotions
and detracting from the experience of the game.
"To avoid the risk of these negative effects in the stadiums
where UEFA competitions are played and to protect the culture
and tradition of football in Europe - singing, chanting etc -
UEFA has decided with immediate effect that vuvuzelas will not
be allowed in the stadiums where UEFA competitions matches are
The ruling appears academic as the vuvuzelas have shown
almost no sign of catching on in Europe in the opening weeks of
the new season.
The UEFA ruling is the latest development in an apparent
backlash against the vuvuzela, although the word itself last
month earned a place in the Oxford Dictionary of English.
Several English Premier League clubs banned the horns in
July on safety grounds while they have also been barred from a
number of rugby grounds in South Africa itself.
Olympic Games 2012 chief Sebastian Coe said he did not want
them at the event in London.
They have also been banned from the current world basketball
championship in Turkey on health grounds. FIBA, the sport's
governing body, said it was too loud, especially in indoor
arenas, and fans who flouted the ruling would be kicked out.
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