Vuvuzela’s silenced in Europe

UEFA has banned fans from bringing
vuvuzelas into stadiums for European Championship and Champions League matches.

UEFA said it wanted to protect the
culture and tradition of fans singing at European soccer matches from the
“negative effect” of the South African plastic trumpets made famous –
and notorious – at the World Cup.

All 53 European soccer nations have
been told to enforce the ban at UEFA’s national team and club competition
matches.

Vuvuzelas provided the World Cup
soundtrack in South Africa, where every match was accompanied by a low-pitch
drone likened to a swarm of buzzing bees.

FIFA refused to ban vuvuzelas
despite repeated calls from players and broadcasters, defending them as part of
South African soccer culture.

However, they have since been
banned by organizers of events such as basketball’s world championship and the
Little League World Series, and by most English Premier League clubs.

Europe’s soccer authority
acknowledged that the vuvuzela had a place in world soccer culture.

“In the specific context of
South Africa, the vuvuzela adds a touch of local flavour and folklore,”
UEFA said, before adding that they would change the traditional atmosphere at
European matches.

“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,”
UEFA said. “UEFA is of the view that the vuvuzelas would completely change
the atmosphere, drowning supporter emotions and detracting from the experience
of the game.”

The ban will take effect when
qualifying for Euro 2012 begins on Friday, and when the group stage of the
Champions League and Europa League starts in two weeks.

WORLDVuvuzelassilencedSTORY

A soccer fan blows a plastic trumpet known as a vuvuzela in Kimberley, South Africa.
Photo: File
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