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Vuvuzelas will not be silenced at World Cup

Vuvuzelas will not be banned from the World Cup despite the fearsome din the plastic trumpets make inside and outside the stadiums, organisers insisted last night.

“Vuvuzelas are here to stay and will never be banned,” said Rich Mkhondo, a spokesman for the World Cup organising committee in South Africa. “People love the vuvuzelas around the world. Only a minority are against vuvuzelas. There has never been a consideration to ban vuvuzelas.”

Mr Mkhondo was reacting to a BBC report that the chief organiser Danny Jordaan had not ruled out banning the most talked about instrument in this World Cup.

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk has banned them from his team's training sessions.

The plastic vuvuzela trumpet has been controversial since the Confederations Cup last year, a World Cup dress rehearsal, when several players complained they could not communicate through the din.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter defended South African fans' right to blow their horns despite global criticism from television viewers of the constant blaring noise.

I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound,” the FIFA president said in a Twitter message yesterday. “I don't see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country.”

Mr Blatter went on to ask: “Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country?”

FIFA and Mr Blatter have strongly backed the use of vuvuzelas since they were introduced to the wider football world at the Confederations Cup.

Broadcasters objected then to the noise emitted by the slender plastic horns, which has been likened to a swarm of bees invading the stadium.

Some fans have reported watching World Cup matches with their television muted to escape the vuvuzela orchestra.

The noise can also affect players' ability to perform on the field.

“In many parts of the game, it can bother you a bit because you can't communicate anything to a teammate who's more than 10 metres away from you,” said Spain striker David Villa, who played at the Confederations Cup.

However, Villa added that the noise “brings a nice ambience and some emotion.”

Mr Mkhondo said: “I wouldn't dwell too much on what outsiders think about vuvuzelas. I would dwell ... on what the feelings of the spectators are.”

Responding to a typical stream of vuvuzela questions at his daily media briefing, he said they are ingrained in South Africa's history.

“You find that they emanate from the horn which was used by our forefathers to call meetings,” he said. “Look at them as part of our culture in South Africa to celebrate the 2010 FIFA World Cup.As our guests, please embrace our culture, please embrace the way we celebrate.

“You either love them or you hate them. We in South Africa love them.”

Mr Mkhondo said the vuvuzela was now an international instrument, and visitors were “stuffing them into their suitcase” before going home from the World Cup.

England defender Jamie Carragher said he's been asked to take some back.

“My kids have been on the phone and they want two. I've got two in my bag already,” Carragher said.

He added that vuvuzelas were also being used by fans from other countries Ä a view backed up by the enormous extra demand seen by vuvuzela outlets across South Africa.

It seems like the bad publicity has been good for us,” said Brandon Bernado, owner of the vuvuzela.co.za website and a factory he said could churn out at least 10,000 of the instruments every day.

“We're completely sold out. Every time we manufacture more, the next morning by nine we're sold out,” he told Reuters.

The vuvuzela industry is worth 50 million rand in South Africa and Europe, according to Cape Town-based Neil van Schalkwyk, who developed the vuvuzela seven years ago.

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