Issue Ban the vuvuzelas? Can’t we make them compulsory?

As told by Michael Wood

The sound of the World Cup is the sound of the vuvuzela.

The drone of a high pitched, continuous sound trumpeted out from every game in South Africa has been the feature of the tournament so far with everything from the horror of Robert Green’s fumble through the excitement of the spanking of Australia to the dullness of France’s draw with Uruguay. Played out to the sound.

However World Cup chief Danny Jordaan may ban vuvuzelas from inside stadiums after complaints from broadcasters. The viewer at home is suffering and there is a real worry that this will cause a knock on effect on viewers.

Football is an irritant to the Mum of the advertisers 2.4 children family at the best of times but when it comes with the headache inducing sound of the vuvuzela then it becomes a turn off rather than a tolerate.

I’ve watched every game of the World Cup and I’ve had headaches but I’ve been to enough football matches to know that coming home with a headache and annoyed by the noise is far from unusual.

Imagine a vuvuzela at Valley Parade next season? Imagine the upset and distress caused and the complaints to stewards and the club: “He was blowing that thing so loud I could hardly hear the bloke behind me calling Luke O’Brien a twat.”

There is a statement that what is said in the stands comes over to the pitch as a single sound – with the vuvuzela it does nothing else. There is a constancy to the noise which does not rise and fall between goals but far too often in British football that rise post goal comes from an often silent start.

It is a curious atmosphere in the South African stadium – we are told – and certainly when watched at home but take a South African to Valley Parade – or many other grounds – and plonk him down and he may long for the drone of vuvuzelas over the drone of negativity.

Perhaps that neutrality is the saving grace of the vuvuzela. It is a noise neither supportive nor critical, it just makes a noise which is often all that can be said about any given person at Valley Parade with everyone in the ground having heard – and probably at some point said – utterly contrary statements within the space of minutes. We have all wished that people around us could be more supportive That someone would remind the crowd what their mother’s told them about not saying anything at all if they can’t say anything nice.

In the end it all comes out as noise anyway.