Vuvuzela ‘sounds like Uwe Seeler’ but will it catch on in Germany?

July 21, 2009

A German official wanting to make the pronunciation of the African vuvuzela instrument clear to German reporters said last week: “Vuvuzela: it sounds like Uwe Seeler“.

This seems to be the only thing Seeler, the Hamburg striker who reigned supreme from the mid-50s to the early 70s, has in common with the African instrument that caused considerable controversy during the Confederations Cup in South Africa last month.

Seeler is a quiet, soft-spoken and reserved man while the vuvuzela makes a loud, monotonous drone that drove players and broadcasters crazy in South Africa. Many have asked FIFA to consider banning them during next year’s World Cup in the country.

Now a German firm has won the rights to market the instrument across Europe — “the original sound of South Africa” — and has ordered thousands of the little trumpets to be used by fans in the Bundesliga saying the vuvuzela craze will take off ahead of next year’s showpiece.

They have even ordered vuvuzelas that come in three pieces so they can not be used as missiles in stadiums as they fall apart upon impact.

The German soccer league said it would carefully examine the impact they have on matches before considering any action against them even though German national coach Joachim Loew has said he hates the sound.

“I would get rid of them if there was any way. The sound gets on your nerves after a while,” Loew said.

Several players who heard the sound in the stadiums during the Confed Cup share that view.

FIFA in turn ruled out banning them from the World Cup saying they were a crucial aspect of South African flair that was necessary for the success of the competition.

“(Banning them) would mean one would have to take away the cow bells from Swiss fans and ban English fans from singing,” FIFA’s Hans Klaus said last week.

But Germany’s southern neighbour, Austria, has already put a lid on them. Vuvuzelas will not be allowed in Austrian stadiums for fear they could be used as projectiles and could trigger aggression among fans, state authorities said.

At the end of the day, football is neither tennis, nor golf. It has always been a loud game. You already have drums, rattles, real trumpets, whole brass bands, cow bells, firecrackers and even didgeridoos.

Could we just leave the vuvuzela alone?

11 comments

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I wish that is the case, Karolos. What FIFA’s Hans Klaus said makes sense.When the World Cup was awarded to South Africa, one should be prepared of what to expect. Even the vuvuzela. It may be annoying to some but, one has to live with it in South Africa. South Africa is not in Europe, it is in Africa. In Europe, people have their own way of drumming up the atmosphere at football matches while in Africa, they have their own way as well. It may deem noisy to some but, that is their way of doing things. So whatever the Germany coach said about the vuvuzela just simply irritated me. I thought Germany is becoming more of a multi-cultural society these days with people of various backgrounds settling in the country itself?I don’t know, I come from a mutli-racial and multi-cultural Singapore and so I had been exposed to all sorts of sounds since I was born…and I am proud of it. Sounds that are heard at weddings, funerals of various racial, religious backgrounds.

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I get your point Diana. No doubt there are things that people do not like in one country’s soccer stadiums and like in another. As you say this is south Africa so just get on with it.

Posted by kAROLOS | Report as abusive

Just went to a game in the states where vuvuzela is now catching on. I heard these horrid things in South America for many years and I can only say when one knows how to truly use it, he can deafen the fans enjoying a match up to 10 rows beneath him. Not only that, but when close to the field, players and coaches can’t hear themselves speak, let alone hear directions. A refrees whistle cannot overpower a vuvuzela, and as we already heard during the Confed Cup, it even ruins the experience watching from home when you can’t hear commentators. These things should be banned, the same way air horns are. FIFA is a disgrace and its a shame the caliber of football is going to exceed its surroundings in South Africa.

Posted by Berbs9 | Report as abusive

Berbs9 – Don’t go, don’t watch it. Many others will gladly fill your space.

Posted by gecko4 | Report as abusive

These are the most annoying and pointless things I’ve ever heard. If europe and north america has banned air horns and loud speakers, FIFA can ban these distractions. I don’t believe for a second that the horrid hum these trumpets produce adds to a possitive atmosphere at games. The most important part of the game are the players, and many of them have already stepped foreword and asked for vuvuzelas to be banned. They only serve to distract the players and annoy spectators. They can’t be compared to how brazil uses whistles, spain claps, england sings, or other musical sounds.Don’t be so sensitive, not every tradition is something to be proud of. If the whole world is telling you they’re annoying, then they are.

Posted by The Soccer Snob | Report as abusive

The Soccer Snob – you are annoying.

Posted by The Whole World | Report as abusive

never heard this story beforewww.greatecs.com

Posted by Soccerfan | Report as abusive

soccer snob, the vuvuzela existed well before FIFA appointed South Africa as a host. So in a way it would really come across as bizarre if FIFA came in and said we are banning this instrument for the World Cup. I don’t know if Europe has banned air horns or not but in many countries air horns are used by fans. What for one person may be annoying, for another may be part of the experience.

Posted by KAROLOS | Report as abusive

Gecko4, you’re right….all the people getting free tickets to the Confed Cup because FIFA was ashamed they didn’t sell any and the TV showed all the empty seats. They all gladly went. I didn’t know FIFA became a charity. Keep your SA.Good post Soccer Snob.I’ll be in Brasil for 2014.

Posted by Berbs9 | Report as abusive

Vuvuzelas are totally unlike singing, drumming etc. in the sheer volume of noise produced, and a hideous noise at that, even worse close up. Even worse when you are South African and cannot sleep because these revolting things are not only blown at matches, but by fans watching at home on tv, often late into the night. If I could burn them all I would.

Posted by Tired | Report as abusive

i hated watching the confed games because of those things, should be banned i reckon.

[...] fact, Reuters asked the question last year whether or not the vuvuzela would catch on in Germany because it sounded so similar to [...]