2010 FIFA World Cup: Vuvuzelas, What Is All the Noise About?

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2010 FIFA World Cup: Vuvuzelas, What Is All the Noise About?

The vuvuzela, sometimes referred to as a "lepatata," is a plastic blowing horn approximately 1 m long that emits a loud monotone that sounds like a giant hive of angry bees. They are most commonly associated with South African football fans, but have been present in Mexican stadiums since the 1970s.

The Vuvuzela started making noise on the world stage leading up to the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa when FIFA became worried that they might potentially be used as weapons by soccer hooligans. They were also concerned that businesses might place advertisements on the horn (translation: they could not allow a single dollar of advertising revenue to exist outside of their cookie jar).

They ultimately decided against banning vuvuzelas at the 2010 World Cup due to the fact that they were such an integral part of South African culture. Per FIFA President Sepp Blatter, "We should not try to Europeanise an African World Cup."

But now, less than four days into world football’s biggest competition, the media is once again buzzing with complaints calling out for a ban on the small plastic horns, a cry that ultimately fell on deaf ears with Blatter tweeting, "Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country?"

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