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Vuvuzelas banned to protect Europe's football culture

After the 'auditory horror' of the World Cup, UEFA has banned vuvuzelas, reasserting the European soccer-going customs of screaming, chanting, singing and drinking. Vuvuzelas, the ruling body says, are just noisy.

German soccer fans blowing vuvuzelas with the German national colors

Vuvuzelas became a staple for spectators at the 2010 World Cup

Vuvuzelas have no place at European soccer matches, according to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), which ruled Wednesday to outlaw the loud plastic trumpets that featured at this year's World Cup in South Africa.

The UEFA told its 53 member federations that the vuvuzela "may not be brought into stadiums at matches in UEFA competitions" in an effort "to protect the culture and tradition of football in Europe - singing, chanting, etc."

While the UEFA did concede that, "in the specific context of South Africa, the vuvuzela adds a touch of local flavor and folklore," it said that "the magic of football consists of the two-way exchange of emotions between the pitch and the stands.

"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 decision appears largely rhetorical as vuvuzelas have shown little sign of becoming popular in Europe during the opening weeks of the new football season.

Vuvuzela-free Olympics

The monotonous drone of the plastic horns drowned out spectators' cheers at the South Africa World Cup and flooded European cities via live televised broadcasts.

Some television networks used vuvuzela filters for their World Cup transmissions, while a number of European clubs have already imposed vuvuzela bans in stadiums.

Sebastian Coe, head of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in London, has already said he does not want to see vuvuzelas at any event in 2012.

Author: David Levitz (AFP/dpa/Reuters)

Editor: Martin Kuebler

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