Monday, June 14, 2010

The Vuvusela Blues

So a lot was made of the vuvusela, a plastic horn that South African have made part of their soccer experience, leading up to the FIFA Wold Cup in South Africa. At first it was viewed as a curiosity, amusing. At one point, there was even speculation that it could catch on out side South Africa: apparently that will not be the case.
Foreign fans, players, coaches and press are complaining about the ever present sound of the vuvusela. According to the CBC report I just saw, Frances captain is blaming the vuvusela for his team's lacklustre performance at the World Cup. Many foreigners are calling for a ban. Happily, FIFA is not bowing to this sort of pressure.
From what I gather, the vuvusela is as much a part of South African soccer as white towels were at Vancouver Canucks games, or the wave was in North American stadiums, or "You'll Never Walk Alone" is at Liverpool FC games. It is an international tournament being hosted in a country with its own customs and traditions. Time to stop being the Ugly Westerners and learn to cope with other peoples' customs. No one is getting hurt so just deal with it.
As for players having a hard time dealing with the noise - give me a break. Noise from the stands, catcalls, cheers, shouting, etc are a part of sport - you learn to get past it or a t least deal with it. If players can't get past the drone from the stands then maybe they aren't ready for the world professional - let alone amateur - sport. And if it came down to obscene catcalls or the vuvusela, I'll take that annoying plastic horn anyday.