Today’s Editorial for Tuesday, June 15: Turn down the volume

What began as a quirky, colourful,
quaint kickoff to World Cup 2010 in South Africa has fast become a downright

We’re talking about the vuvuzela, a
plastic horn blown at football matches in South Africa.

It’s called a beautiful noise for a
beautiful game.

Frankly it sounds like a horde of
killer bees inside the matches.

Already soccer teams and their
captains are complaining as loud as the vuvuzela blowers about the noise.

As of Monday morning close to
100,000 people had signed on to an anti-vuvuzela group on Facebook demanding
that FIFA ban the instrument.

But so far FIFA isn’t budging.

Legend is the vuvuzela’s forerunner
– the kudu horn – was first used in ancient times to summon people to

But the vuvuzela – a word which
literally means “pump up” – first infiltrated South African club football in
the late 1990s, originally made of tin before becoming mass produced in colourful

Its popularity among South African
football fans has now grown to the point where it is a de facto symbol of the
national team.

The fact the horns can be louder
than heavy metal music even with just 5,000 blowing them speaks volumes.

But FIFA has decreed those volumes
won’t be turned down.

“It is African culture, we are in
Africa and we have to allow them to practise their culture as much as they want
to,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in a statement.

We can appreciate a country’s need
to carry on its tradition and culture.

We try to maintain our heritage and
culture daily in the Cayman Islands.

But we think that if we were doing
something to distract something as important as the most popular sporting event
in the world, we would take a step back and regroup.

World Cup 2010 has only just begun
and we have several weeks to go. Hopefully FIFA will at least find a way to
turn down the volume.


  1. Interesting anecdote – the BBC in the UK are considering offering viewers the chance to switch the noise off with the red button on the remote control – this can only happen because of Digital TV and Satellite TV in the UK which provide interactive remote controls designed to help you rewind, playback, see two screens at the same time and, yes, turn particular sounds off! Neat? But I think the noise is culturally cute – maybe if South Africa win a game we’ll get ullulating too!

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