/ 17 July 2009

Austria bans vuvuzelas — but not because of the noise

The Austrian professional football league on Thursday imposed a stadium ban on the long plastic trumpet, the vuvuzela, which made such a noisy impression in last month’s Confederations Cup in South Africa.

But the league said the vuvuzelas were being banned not for the deafening and tuneless din they produce, but because they might be used as missiles.

”Vuvuzelas can be used as projectiles. Furthermore, they can incite aggressive behaviour among other fans,” Austrian league spokesperson Christian Kircher said.

Newly promoted Wiener Neustadt had been counting on handing out 150 vuvuzelas to fans to make some noise during the league’s seasonal kick-off at home on Friday against Austria Carinthia.

Vuvuzelas caused consternation among some in South Africa for the Confed Cup, with several non-African players and coaches calling for their ban.

But the president of world football governing body Fifa, Sepp Blatter, has given them his blessing, blasting the detractors by telling them Africa is about dance and music and that moaning about the instrument bordered on discrimination. — AFP