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Money will talk louder than any vuvuzela

By Mark Gleeson
June 24, 2009

The debate around the vuvuzela was always going to generate big noise but for some South African commentators it has become almost a neo-colonial conflict.

The noisy trumpet, which dominates the sound waves around the stadiums during the Confederations Cup, has got a lot of people covering their ears.

Complaints from TV viewers across Europe have been vociferous enough for the future of the plastic pest to become the major item on the agenda at the series of press conferences FIFA president Sepp Blatter has held during the tournament in South Africa.

Blatter has said it will stay — he wants to celebrate local custom and is inviting the rest of the world to do so too.












FIFA’s television arm, HBS, are more cautious but say privately, at the end of the day what Blatter says goes.

The European TV stations, who pay a lot of the money that funds FIFA, Blatter and the World Cup, could have the vuvuzela banned if they bleated enough. But most of the noise, so far, has come from enraged South Africa columnists, who have rounded on the poor Dutch journalist who first sought Blatter’s response to complaints from European television viewers.

In Africa, there is a sensitivity to being told what to do from outside and a pride in seeking to create a unique World Cup in 2010. Some of the stuff written though has been a little churlish. See here, here and here for a flavour.

At the end the day, it is the big TV money that talks. If the world’s broadcasters feel the cacophony of vuvuzelas detracts from the viewing pleasure of their public, FIFA will be forced to back down and ban the trumpets from the 2010 World Cup stadiums.

It won’t have anything to do with any ‘ism, just cold hard cash.

  • Yes…they are annoying
  • No…they add to the mood of the game
  • Who cares?


If the FIFA is going to bann the vuvuzela, people can take this as a alternative. It’s not possible to banne cellphones right?
Keep on going south africa!!!!

Posted by hendrik | Report as abusive

They do make a lot of noise but soccer is always a noisy, so its ok with me. However I can imagine it to be a nuisance to the ref and the players.


I do not believe that this will be an issue because not much south africans will be on the stadiums during the WC. The tickets will be too expensive.


I think the ref and the players better get used to it. That small plastic trumpet will be bought by tourists many many years after this tournament is done. It is a symbol of our nation and is something unique to South Africa. It MUST stay!

It’s almost like going to Switzerland and saying their cheese is too stinky, or going to Germany and saying they have too many beer drinkers and it detracts from the game. Actually…all those people in Europ who allegedly complain about the vuvuzela’s, such as commentators, must get a life. All you have to do is commentate…FROM EUROPE anyway! How could it possible make a difference to them!?

Anyway i think that Blatter made the right decision.

Also…just on Amilcar’s point…i will be in the stadium at the WC. Along with thousands of other South Africans. The tickets are not too expensive Amilcar…i think the group match tickets are something like R200. Now that might be a bit above the average South African’s price limit, but it is not expensive.

Posted by Neill | Report as abusive

The thing is South Africa actually has great football songs and does not need the plastic horn: o/the-vuvuzela-conspiracy/

Posted by Fut | Report as abusive

I am proudly South African and don’t like the vuvuzela but after hearing a lot of complaints coming from Europe. I am arming my family and friends with one & I am gone buy the tickets for the world cup. To all the people who feel that the noise is unbearable switch your TV to mute. Before, a lot of people doubted the countries ability to stage the event and now they have seen the capability.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

If u dont like the station,change to a different station.You cant go someone house & start rearranging the furniture.Complaints, it not thats what you gonna during the world cup (vuvuzela’s lots&lots)

Posted by Bafana | Report as abusive

I’m against this “Noise”. Why?
If we put aside what it means to the people of South Africa for a moment here, and focus on how it will negatively affect the enjoyment of the game, I think most of us will agree that this “Noise” making item should be banned from the games. Why doesn’t FIFA or the South African government promotes “Soccer Songs” for the fans to support their teams (Like it is done in most of the world, no wait, like it is done in the rest of the world!). I love soccer and I can wait for the World Cup to start, but I will definitely be changing channel or turning off my TV if this “NOISE” is allowed!!! It’s all up to you FIFA… and yes, I do not mean disrespect to the wonderful people of South Africa… God Bless you all!

Posted by Beto | Report as abusive

i was really happy about world cup being in africa, but this is football without athmopshere of attack and play, drama etc. horrible

Posted by johny2 | Report as abusive

This guy shows quite a nifty solution to filter out the noise: 9c

Posted by jumu | Report as abusive

I and my friend wrote a small Windows App (MuteVuvuzela) that filters the Vuvuzelas noise. Of course it can be used with a TV or DVD.

Posted by Mihaok | Report as abusive

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