Football

UEFA strikes vuvuzelas blow

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The forthcoming round of European Championship qualifiers will not be subjected to the controversial drone of the vuvuzela after UEFA banned the instrument from all matches falling under its jurisdiction.

European football's governing body has decided that the trumpet, which was a fans' favourite at the World Cup in South Africa but divided opinion among the worldwide television audience, "would not be appropriate in Europe".

A UEFA statement read: "The World Cup was characterised by the vuvuzela's widespread and permanent use in the stands. In the specific context of South Africa, the vuvuzela adds a touch of local flavour and folklore, but UEFA feels that the instrument's widespread use would not be appropriate in Europe, where a continuous loud background noise would be emphasised."

The statement continued: "UEFA is of the view that the vuvuzelas would completely change the atmosphere, drowning supporter emotions and detracting from the experience of the game.

"To avoid the risk of these negative effects in the stadiums where UEFA competitions are played and to protect the culture and tradition of football in Europe, UEFA has decided with immediate effect that vuvuzelas will not be allowed in the stadiums where UEFA competitions matches are played."

The ruling means vuvuzelas will not be heard at Euro 2012 qualifiers or at Champions League and Europa League fixtures.

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