News : World Cup: Calls To Ban Vuvuzela Get Louder

Pressure is growing on World Cup organisers to restrict the use of vuvuzelas following complaints from top players, broadcasters and fans that the deafening plastic horn is spoiling the tournament.
The instruments, which can generate a sound louder than a chainsaw at the lips of a practised player and are extremely popular among South African fans, have become a fixture inside grounds and on the streets of host cities.

But broadcasters say they drown out commentary and France captain Patrice Evra said the wall of noise was a factor in his side's poor display in their goalless draw with Uruguay.
"We can't sleep at night because of the vuvuzelas. People start playing them from 6am. We can't hear one another out on the pitch because of them," said the Manchester United star.

Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo admitted the volume made it difficult on the pitch to concentrate, while Argentina playmaker and World Player of the Year Lionel Messi was quoted as saying it made him feel like he was deaf.

A website organised to give fans a vote on whether they should be banned has seen nearly 60,000 users vote to get rid of it- as of Sunday night - whereas just 6,500 wanted it to stay.

In Cape Town, shopkeepers said they were running out of earplugs branded as "vuvu-stoppers", designed to limit the noise from the instruments that has been likened to a foghorn or an elephant in distress.
However, 23-year-old fan, Sazi Mhlwatika, defended the instruments, saying: "It's our way to motivate players, to express happiness and how you feel in the stadium.

"We are used to them and you can't enjoy the game without vuvuzelas. If there's no vuvuzelas, there is no game. It's just a traditional thing in South Africa. Abroad, they sing from the first minute to the end, here we blow vuvuzelas from the beginning to the end."

Fans from other countries, such as England and Germany, have also adopted the instrument, branding it with their own teams' colours.

In the wake of his team's 1-1 draw with Mexico in the opening game, South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena described the noise as "our 12th man that we need... our weapon".

Asked if a ban was an option, World Cup organising committee chief Danny Jordaan said: "If there are grounds to do so, yes", adding that he preferred singing.
But a spokesman for the committee later played down Mr Jordaan's remarks and said the horns were "here to stay".

Vuvuzelas provided the soundtrack as African fans celebrated their first victory at the finals on Sunday with Ghana's win over Serbia thanks to a penalty from Asamoah Gyan in Pretoria.

"Everyone is happy, not only in Ghana but the whole of Africa," Gyan said.

"I'm so happy, not for Ghana winning but for an African team winning in the World Cup. It's not so easy."

UN chief Ban Ki Moon said the opening stages were a triumph for the whole continent, as national media hailed a hiccup-free opening round of matches.

However, tragedy struck in Cape Town when a 14-year-old American tourist fell to his death while hiking down the famous Table Mountain tourist trail.

A police spokesman said the unnamed youngster was with his brother and parents in wet conditions on Saturday when he fell on a trail known as Skeleton Gorge.

The family, who are from Texas, were holidaying in South Africa and had intended to watch some World Cup matches, he added.

While there has been no violence between fans, a TV crew from New Zealand had a camera, satellite equipment and laptop worth 100,000 New Zealand dollars (£48,000) stolen from their Rustenburg hotel room. SKYNEWS

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