Perhaps the defining sights to date of the 2010 World Cup have been the sparkling new stadiums or the colorful costumes worn by fans of each of the 32 competing nations. Without a doubt, the defining sound of the tournament has been the droning sound of the vuvuzela, which can be heard by spectators attending the games or by the television viewer. The notable sound has sparked a debate whether the vuvuzela adds or takes away from the World Cup experience.
For local South African football fans, the vuvuzela has been a natural part of the conduct of watching a match, and wonder what is the fuss. However, for international visitors and viewers the sound of the plastic instrument has been a novelty.
This debate dates back to the 2009 Confederations Cup held in South Africa, which may have been the first exposure to the sound for many global football fans. Some called for the vuvuzela to be banned from the stadium by those who said that it took away from the enjoyment of the game. FIFA President Sepp Blatter, however, gave his full backing to allowing the use of vuvuzelas at the 2010 World Cup. He said, “we should not try to europeanise an African World Cup.“
Now, just days into the tournament, it has become a topic on the internet by those who complain about it, as well as those who defend the instrument, and even by those who criticize those grumbling about the vuvuzela. Even though there are some reports that FIFA may look into restricting the vuvuzela due to television complaints, many feel that it will continue on.
Syrian twitterer Anas Qtiesh compares the sound to that of a swarm of insects and writes, “we need to fumigate the stadium, the bee situation is getting out of hand.” Several Twitter accounts are appearing to encourage more complaints about the vuvuzela: @stopvuvuzela, @vuvuneela, and @vuvunee.
There were others quick to defend the football tradition in South Africa. Michelle Sibanda (@pinkminx36) writes:
The vuvuzela is part of our country's heritage…so NO we wont stop blowing it and you can complain till the cows come home!!!”
The criticism about the buzzing sound of the vuvuzela proved to be quite humorous for some, who turned around to make light of their complaints. Daniel Reeders (@onekind) stated:
Western world discovers Africa, discovers it to be loud, discordant, overwhelming, and retires to twitter to complain #vuvuzela
Finally, Karabo Harry (@kayrabH) puts it all into perspective by offering a suggestion:
If the sound of the #Vuvuzela irritates you get #EarPlugs & complain about beeger things like #Illiteracy & #Poverty.