Major international events say no to vuvuzela

Vuvuzelas may have augmented every single World Cup match with a horrific angry-beehive symphony, but the "musical" symbol of South African soccer is still loved by far too many people. Chinese factories have stepped up the productivity of their miserable and underpaid workforce to keep up with demand, and the plastic horn has started to appear at sporting events outside of the World Cup-hosting nation. Spectators and players at a recent Florida Marlins baseball game, for example, had to put up with the irritation of 15,000 vuvuzelas, in addition to tolerating the general boredom of actually watching baseball.

The vuvu may have found its way to the Sunshine State, but thankfully, the international spread of noise pollution is being halted by the organizers of several forthcoming major events. First up is the Pamplona bull run -- the annual festival where Spaniards temporarily resist the innate urge to stick huge swords in defenseless bulls, instead letting them chase locals through the streets of the Navarre city. AFP via Yahoo! reports on the vuvu ban imposed by Pamplona authorities:

"The municipality has banned the sale of vuvuzelas in the stands set up for the San Fermin festival, due to the noise disturbance they produce," the mayor of the northern town said in a statement.

The trumpets would produce "unpleasant and dangerous noise for neighbours," the mayor said.

It seems odd to be concerned about danger at an event where angry bulls try to kill people in the streets, but clearly the deafening din is not welcome. Meanwhile, Reuters quotes London 2012 Olympic bid chief Sebastian Coe taking a similarly dim view towards the vuvuzela:

"I'm a libertarian on these issues but Olympic sport is very particular and you wouldn't want anything to trespass on that extraordinary theatre that takes place in the five or six minutes before the 100 metres final.

"It is the silence and expectation that defines that moment and it's very clear most Olympic sports demand very different approaches from spectators."

One would hope that the novelty of the vuvuzela will wear off soon after the World Cup finishes, but there's still a chance they may find their way into European stadia at the beginning of the 2010-11 season. It will be annoying, but it might be worth it to see Patrice Evra suffer Vietnam veteran-style flashbacks on the opening day of the Premier League season...

Image: Reuters

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