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Soccer-Minister unhappy about Samba drums ban


By Andrew Downie

COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil, Dec 5 (Reuters) - FIFA has banned samba drums from Brazil's World Cup stadiums but even though local authorities are not happy about it they say it will not diminish the atmosphere inside the 12 arenas during next year's tournament.

"As a Brazilian and a soccer fan it is a part of our culture having samba instruments and musical instruments in the stadiums (during) the games so that is a normal part of the atmosphere around football games," said Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes.

"For us it would have been better if we could have musical instruments inside the games but I don't think it will make a major difference because people are extremely enthusiastic for football and they are extremely musical so there will be a lot of singing in the World Cup games."

FIFA has prohibited fans from taking any musical instruments into the arenas, with the ban extending even to the caixirola, the maraca like-instrument that was created especially for the tournament.

Fans used the plastic instruments as missiles and rained thousands of them down on players when they debuted in Brazilian league matches.

That came years after the vuvuzela was blamed for deadening the atmosphere of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Fernandes said there would nevertheless be a unique musicality next June and July thanks to Brazil's well-known love for music and dance.

"There will be a lot of sounds of samba in Brazil, in each host city the whole country will be a huge carnival," he told Reuters.

"There won't be any street corner without fans getting together, singing with musical instruments following the game, supporting the national team so I don't think that will in any way bring down the enthusiasm of Brazilian people for the World Cup."

The draw for the 32-team tournament takes place in the Costa do Sauipe resort on Friday. The competition itself kicks off on June 12 next year and matches will be played in 12 cities. (Editing by Alan Baldwin)

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