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World Cup A-Z: Vuvuzelas

7 June 2014

By Rhys Griffiths

A vibrant sounds encapsulating the rowdy passion of South African football fans, or a noisy nuisance that made watching games almost impossible without easy access to the mute button? Back in the summer of 2010 there were few people who didn't have an opinion on the cacophony created by the near-ubiquitous vuvuzela.

The metre-long plastic horns were definitely the sound of South Africa 2010, with thousands of fans blowing away on their vuvuzelas in grounds across the country. An individual vuvuzela could reportedly make a noise as loud as 127 decibels and when blown in unison the resulting sound was described as being akin to a swarm of angry wasps.

But while the fans blew their vuvuzelas with joyous abandon in the stands not everyone was all that impressed with the noise they created. Many players expressed their discomfort at playing amid such a racket, with Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo admitting the sound of horns was making it hard to concentrate on the pitch. "A lot of players don't like them, but they are going to have to get used to them," he told the press.

Despite the disapproval being voiced by the players, FIFA decided not to take any action to ban the vuvuzelas from grounds hosting World Cup matches in South Africa. "I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Twitter.

Click here to see the other letters in our World Cup A-Z


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