The South African soccer scene may have to bid farewell to the soccer fan’s favourite prop, the vuvuzela. South African soccer fans are known for their elaborate attire and of course, the familiar horn. In fact, the vuvuzela is such a big part of the South African social fibre that it can be heard on a random weekday even when there is no soccer ball in sight.
Many of the foreign fans who came to South Africa for the World Cup in 2010 were not prepared for the unrelenting vuvuzela. A few thousand vuvuzelas blown all at once in what sounds like the choking of ten thousand geese is not what the travellers had imagined in their wildest African fantasies.
However, the volume of the vuvuzela is not the reason the vuvuzela may be a thing of the past at soccer stadiums. Yahoo reported that it is the ease with which the vuvuzela is used as a weapon that has officials wondering if they shouldn’t ban the instrument from soccer venues altogether.
Last week, Sport24 shared the story of referee Lwandile Mfiki who experienced the malicious intent with which the vuvuzela can be used first hand. Mfiki unleashed the worst in a Kaizer Chiefs fan when he gave Reneilwe Letsholonyane a red card after a harsh tackle offence. With the crowd at the Moses Mabhida Stadium and television viewers around the world watching, the fan bypassed security and bolted onto the pitch where the referee could have been totalled with the vuvuzela had the guards and police not intervened. Another Amakhosi supporter was stopped in his warpath before he made it onto the pitch.
Roger De Sa, the coach of defending league champions Orlando Pirates, also got a bitter dose of the controversial vuvuzela when his side played a draw recently. The Buccaneer fans demanded nothing less than a win to close in on Kaizer Chiefs who are in the lead on the PSL log. When it was clear that a win was not on the cards, Roger De Sa became the target of all manner of flying objects including vuvuzelas.
Given South Africa’s history of violence at soccer stadiums and the fact that vuvuzela-like instruments which are popular in African countries are already banned by some football federations in other countries, South Africa may indeed have to say goodbye to the vuvuzela.