However, one thing we have noticed is the horrible noise coming from virtually every stadium in South Africa, courtesy of a device known as the vuvuzela:
Vuvuzela: play like a pro Link to this video The BBC was investigating the
possibility of transmitting an alternative "vuvuzela free" version of its World
Cup coverage tonight, as the fierce debate over the buzz of the horn looked set
to be heading for football grounds all over Britain.
As players, fans and coaches weighed in on whether the loud drone of the plastic horns was an annoying irritant or joyful expression of African culture, South African organisers hit back and encouraged visiting fans to export them back to their
At the same time, fans in Britain have been snapping up the horns at the rate of one every two seconds and suppliers claimed the UK had been gripped by "vuvuzela fever".
"Vuvuzelas are here to stay and will never be banned," said Rich Mkhondo, a spokesman for the local World Cup organising committee. "People love the vuvuzelas around the world. Only a minority are against vuvuzelas."
The Premier League and the Football League said there was nothing in their rules to stop supporters bringing them to English grounds but the decision would rest with individual clubs.
"There is a good chance they will end up in our grounds because people
will bring them back from the World Cup," said a Football League spokesman. "It
is a matter for individual clubs, as is the case with drums and other musical instruments."
The drone of the vuvuzela has sparked an international debate since the tournament's launch on Friday, with broadcasters inundated with complaints and arguments raging on radio phone-ins.
The BBC has received 220 complaints and, while it is committed to reflecting the atmosphere in the stadiums on its main coverage, it is believed to be looking into providing a so-called "clean" feed that would strip out the majority of crowd noise, via the red button.
South African organisers insisted today they were an important part of the atmosphere and would not be banned, despite the World Cup organising committee chief executive, Danny Jordaan, saying at the weekend that he personally preferred the sound of singing.
Critics have argued that the constant drone masks the ebb and flow of the game and drowns out the noise of the crowd.
The Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen said after today's match with Holland that the constant noise meant he had to be no more than 10 yards away from his teammates and have eye contact to pass any messages.
Following his opening game, Argentina's Lionel Messi said: "It is impossible to communicate, it's like being deaf."
But the South African goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, mindful of the value of home advantage, said after his team's opening match that there weren't enough vuvuzelas in the stadium and called on supporters to make more noise.
Even in South Africa, opinion is divided. Some put the wave of international criticism down to the effect of vuvuzelas being blown by enthusiastic visitors rather than the more expert exponents at South African Premier League matches.
But the organising committee called on overseas fans, who have been snapping up the horns, to export them.
"The vuvuzela is now an international instrument," said a spokesman. "People will buy them and stuff them in their suitcases and take them home."
Some people believe banning the vuvuzela would be racist, since the incessant, annoying sound is authentically Black South Africa, and any move to drown out the vuvuzela would be seen as Western imperialism rearing its ugly head.
Of course, some believe that the vuvuzela is a symbol of the end of civilization, an endless cacophony of auditory-detrimental, gutteral sounds that can't be banned due to the racist implications of such a move:
Vuvuzelas will not be banned from the World Cup despite theWhen SBDPL first heard the vuvuzela, the first thought that came to mind was the noise that the Tripods made in the 2005 film "War of the Worlds".
fearsome din the plastic trumpets make, organisers said on Monday.
"Vuvuzelas are here to stay and will never be banned," said Rich
Mkhondo, a spokesman for the local World Cup organising committee.
"People love the vuvuzelas around the world. Only a minority are against
vuvuzelas. There has never been a consideration to ban vuvuzelas."
Mkhondo was reacting to a BBC report that the chief organiser Danny
Jordaan had not ruled out banning the most talked about instrument in this World Cup.
The Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk has banned them from his team's
The plastic vuvuzela trumpet has been controversial
since the Confederations Cup last year, a World Cup dress rehearsal, when several players complained they could not communicate through the din, which sounds like a herd of charging elephants.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter rejected calls for them to be
banned, saying they are as typical of South African football as bongo drums or chants in other countries.
"Look at them (vuvuzelas) as part of our culture in South Africa to celebrate the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As our guests please embrace our culture, please embrace the way we celebrate," said Mkhondo.
He added that vuvuzelas were also being used by fans
from other countries.
The vuvuzela industry is worth 50 million rand ($6.45 million) in South Africa and Europe, according to Cape Town-based Neil van Schalkwyk, who developed the vuvuzela seven years ago.
Perhaps that is what the vuvuzela represents, a figurative war of the worlds between the different traditions that make European soccer and African soccer so distinct and in the end, incomptatible.
Just like being quiet at movies and being shushed, Black people love the vuvuzela, a musical instrument that leaves people hearing it quite unsettled and yet, the people blowing the device extremely happy and indifferent to the complaints of everyone else.