Of the many memories left behind by this summer’s World Cup in the rainbow nation, among the most colourful will be the debate over the tournament’s unofficial soundtrack – the Vuvuzela.
The instrument, which has been described as producing a sound comparable to a swarm of bees, made a huge impact during South Africa’s inaugural hosting of the tournament, and received almost as much media coverage as the action on the pitch itself – most of it negative.
FIFA reluctantly agreed to permit their use throughout the historic World Cup – having already allowed them during the 2009 Confederations Cup – despite their own initial doubts regarding the safety of fans in the immediate vicinity.
As the 2010/11 domestic season fast approaches, German outfit Borussia Dortmund set the precedent by announcing that the plastic horns would be “forbidden” from the Westfalenstadion – and Tottenham Hotspur became the first Premier League side to follow suit this morning after a number of Championship clubs implemented their own restrictions last week.
Arsenal have since joined their North London rivals, stating that: “Further to their hugely debated involvement at this summer’s World Cup Finals in South Africa, Arsenal Football Club has decided to forbid the use of vuvuzelas within Emirates Stadium with immediate effect.
“This decision has been taken to ensure the enjoyment and safety of supporters on match days, which is of paramount importance to the Club.”
Other clubs not permitting entry with the instrument will include Fulham – who do not allow any musical instruments into Craven Cottage on match days anyway – and Everton, who have stated: “In the wake of the World Cup in South Africa we have received many emails from our supporters asking that we ban vuvuzelas on the grounds that they are simply irritating – but none urging us to permit their use at first-team fixtures.”
The Toffees deny being “killjoys,” claiming that the risk of FA sanctioning following past trouble with items being thrown onto the Goodison Park pitch has helped ensure the horn will not be making an appearance on the blue half of Merseyside this season, adding: “this is simply a measure which is designed to safeguard our reputation with the game’s governing bodies.”
Other clubs admit that they have yet to reach a decision, with last season’s new boys Wolves declaring their position by stating that while no official club ruling has yet been reached, discussions will take place at forthcoming planning meetings ahead of the new campaign.
While the vuvuzela may not be heard on many of England’s greenest fields this season, the sound of drums will still reign supreme at Bloomfield Road.
Championship Playoff winners Blackpool are facing their first top flight season for 41 years, and they do not appear to be worried about the potential imposition of the vuvuzela as their fans are used to singing to a different tune.
The Tangerines’ Press Officer and Club Secretary Matt Williams told ADL: “We are keen to ensure the atmosphere created by our supporters is better than ever before, and we will be challenging Drummer Hoggy to make more noise than vuvuzelas did this summer.”