World Cup footballers Messi and Ronaldo join roar for ban on ‘deafening’ vuvuzela

by David Brown, Kevin Eason | The Sunday Times

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi joined calls by broadcasters and fans to ban the vuvuzela at the World Cup as British supermarkets reported selling one of the plastic horns every two seconds. English football authorities appeared powerless to stop their spread to the domestic game, though the leading maker offered some hope of a respite by unveiling a lower decibel model.

Controversy over the vuvuzela dominated South Africa news even as the World Cup was hit by its first violence — riot police clashed with 500 security staff in a pay dispute at Durban’s Moses Mabhida stadium after Germany’s 4-0 win over Australia on Sunday night. Officers fired rubber bullets and stun grenades.

At Cape Town’s Green Point stadium, where England will meet Algeria on Friday, guards went on strike shortly before Italy played Paraguay. Princes William and Harry are due to watch England play at the 66,000-capacity stadium and police announced that they had taken over control of security at both stadiums.

However, the vuvuzela continued to dominate off-field coverage of the competition. Ronaldo, the Portuguese former Manchester United player, said the noise made it “difficult for anyone on the pitch to concentrate”. Messi, the Argentina striker and World Player of the Year, said after the game against Nigeria: “It is impossible to communicate, it’s like being deaf.”

Robin van Persie, the Arsenal and Holland striker, said he could not hear the referee’s whistle after receiving a warning in the match with Denmark.

The sound emitted by a vuvuzela is the equivalent to 127 decibels — louder than a drum’s 122 decibels or a referee’s whistle at 121.8 decibels.

But Sepp Blatter, president of Fifa, football’s world governing body, defended the symbol of South African football, which almost certainly means the instruments will not be banned. Read more

Source: The Sunday Times

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