When I sat down to watch England play the Platinum All-Stars on the internet there was no commentary, instead all I got was a torturous, mono-toned drone. I checked the speakers on my laptop and fiddled with the wires, but still it continued. I then realised that the noise was coming from the game, and after only 5 minutes it was bugging me. ‘I hope it doesn’t last for the whole game’, I thought. Unfortunately it lasted for the whole month.
The Vuvuzela, what more can I say? We all have our opinions on them, some love them most loathe them. Me? Well, I loathe them, so I was thrilled when the first few Premier League dominoes started to topple in banning them. In the World Cup we tolerated them as they were all part of the South African footballing culture. But now we’re coming back round to the start of our domestic season it is time to leave them in the sub continent.
Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham, Sunderland and Birmingham have all made official announcements which prohibit the instruments from entering their stadia this coming season. All of which cited health and safety and decibel levels as reasons for their actions. However I can’t help but feel that at some level these are just official excuses for saying: ‘We just find them irritating’. I don’t believe that anyone in England would relish sitting through a game with a man blowing on his Vuvuzela next to them for 90 minutes.
At some point we’ve all been sat in the stands near the large man banging away on his big bass drum *BANG BANG, BANG BANG BANG, BANG BANG BANG BANG, TOTTENHAM*. That can get a bit annoying sometimes, but at least it encourages some crowd interaction. What would happen to terrace chanting amidst the whining of trumpets? The strong hearted encouragement for the home team, the gentle mockery of the opponent; these are the thing we stand to lose if the Vuvuzelas are welcomed in the Premier League.
Blackpool are rumoured to be considering allowing them into Bloomfield Road in order to create an intimidating home field advantage. In fairness to them, they may be on to something. Blackpool will have the smallest stadium next season, so if they think they can increase the noise inside the ground with the Vuvuzelas then good luck to them. But the question that arises is will people actually do it? I expect one man with a Vuvuzela could quickly be discouraged from using it if the 100 people around him aren’t keen. Birmingham have said that they have banned it after a survey of fans were heavily in favour of keeping them away from St Andrews – power to the people!
When I was 13 I brought a flag at the Tottenham club shop. It was, what can only be described as a standard flag – a piece of cloth with the club badge on it attached to a piece of cheap wood. But when I got to the turnstiles it was taken from me because it was deemed a health and safety hazard. ‘Health and Safety gone mad’ I remember thinking. But, for once, it seems health safety has been thinking clearly. So long Vuvuzelas, it’s been…well…annoying.
Written By Karl Sears