The FIFA World Cup 2010 might just be the only event that most fans prefer to watch with the volume cranked the other way around. What viewers expected to be a flurry of colorful hats, extravagant dancing, and football spectator clichés turned into a scene that ended up falling under the spell of a plastic horn.
For years, the traditional horn has been blown by South African supporters with energy that can trump Louis Armstrong—minus the melody and rhythm.
Although the South African’s fondness for the uvuzela extends all the way to their ancestors, the collective sound of the instrument has been blatantly compared to a herd of hyenas digging a ditch filled with angry bees. Initially, many found the plastic horn entertaining, but this only lasted until complaints emerged of the annoyance it delivers both inside and outside the pitch.
Reports say that the Confederations Cup that held prior to the World Cup in South Africa was an early victim of the Vuvuzela. Players grumbled that they could not hear each other or the referee whenever crowds start to gain their horn-blowing momentum. That was only a taste of things to come, which will soon turn into a fiasco that even Vuvuzela users deeply regret.
While players had their problems, broadcasters also shared the same seat. Majority of the European commentators raised objections that the sound of the horn drowned them out, a scenario that could be repeated when South Africans are urged to support the hosts who were playing against Mexico for the opening game.
Researchers even claim to have discovered evidence that Vuvuzelas can trigger permanent hearing disabilities. As absurd as it may sound, it does make a point since anything excessive can lead to something negative.
However, the final decision was to decide against banning the World Cup Vuvuzela instruments during the 2010 World Cup mainly due to their strong representation of the South African culture. As FIFA President Sepp Blatter mentioned, they should not try to Europeanize the African World Cup.
It was both the football action and the Vuvuzela that claimed the 2010 FIFA World Cup spotlight. The noisemaker that erupted to international attention brought the tournament to a whole new level of excitement, tension, and joyous moments. Unquestionably, the plastic horns were a core part of both the coveted tournament the nation’s love for football.