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Vuvuzelas: I hate them, but they are back

The deafening roar of plastic horns has been a feature of Iran’s matches

The vuvuzela
Image Credit: AP
Brad Fuller, who hails from Durban, South Africa, shows off his genuine vuvuzela. (File Photo)

Vuvuzelas, I hate them. The plastic airhorns that provided background score for the South Africa World Cup make such a horrible noise that I was relieved when the 2010 tournament was over. Eight years later, the cacophony returned. It haunted me on Wednesday night when Spain faced off against Iran.

Iranian supporters were the culprits. Right from kick-off, the steady drone of vuvuzelas, or plastic airhorns that resembled vuvuzelas, reverberated throughout the Kazan Stadium.

Fans clad in red, white and green colours kept up the encouragement for the Iranian players. The din was deafening.

The TV commentator’s voice barely rose above the vuvuzela orchestra in the stadium. When Iran shed their defensive shackles in search of an equaliser, the decibel level shot up several notches. The roar of vuvuzelas greeted every foray by the Iranians. I nearly switched off the television.

Apparently, the vuvuzelas made their comeback on Friday. I had missed it. I hadn’t watched Iran’s opener against Morocco. A quick check revealed an array of colourful vuvuzelas wielded by supporters at the Morocco game.

I thought we had seen the last of the vuvuzela when England banned it from the Premier League stadiums. It was also barred from the Brazil World Cup, four years ago. I firmly believe that it should be banished from football stadiums all over the world. If you had watched Wednesday’s match, you’d agree with me.

An Iranian woman blows a vuvuzela as she arrives outside Azadi stadium in the capital Tehran on June 20, 2018, to attend a screening of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Iran and Spain.

Predictably, social media reaction has been overwhelmingly negative, especially on twitter. “I am at the stadium and ran off,” one tweep wrote. “Iran's secret weapon is vuvuzela,” another said.

According to some reports, the sound of these horns can rise to 120 decibels, and prolonged exposure can induce hearing loss.

Vuvuzela can hardly be termed a musical instrument. The sound that emanates from these horns is repulsive. It certainly is no music to my ears.